Chris H. Olsen

HomeBioYouTubeBlogPortfolioShopArticlesUpcoming EventsSpeech TopicsHome ToursContact/Bookings

Sign up for the Chris H. Olsen Newsletter


Chris H. Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

More Garden Show Info

Newest Videos!

Chris H Olsen

Todays THV


At Home Blog

Botanica Gardens


Colonial Wine & Spirits



Friday December 11th, 2015 6:30pm to 9pm $125 per person - Holiday meal prepared by the one and only Chef Donnie Ferneau. This is a small intimate dinner limited to 20 people. An evening of enchantment, divine cuisine and a chance to tour Chris H. Olsen's home decorated in holiday splendor.

November 23rd, 2015 - Chris wanted you to know that right now at Plantopia, you can find fabulous cut Christmas trees from Nobles to Frasier Firs. They not only have sheared trees but also--something nobody else in Arkansas has--natural Frasier Firs that look like old-fashioned Christmas trees. All of these natural trees are perfect for showcasing your ornaments.

Top FIve

Garlic and Herb Spatchcock Grilled Chicken

YIELD: Serves 4

ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 1/4 hours


1 bunch rosemary
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
1 (1 1/2-pound) skin-on, bone-in whole chicken breast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chimichurri Sauce (for serving)

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat with both direct and indirect heat zones, preferably with hardwood or hardwood charcoal. Separate leaves from 5 rosemary sprigs, then coarsely chop leaves. Tie remaining sprigs together with kitchen twine to form a brush. Combine garlic and oil in a measuring cup.

Remove backbone of whole chicken with kitchen shears by cutting along both sides of the spine while chicken is breast side down. Reserve backbone for stock. Remove keel bone. Turn chicken over, breast side up, and splay it open. Press down on breastbone with your palms until you hear it crack. Tuck the wings behind the breasts, then tuck in the legs so the bottoms of the drumsticks are pointed away from the body and chicken is as flat as possible.

Press down on breastbone of whole chicken breast with your palms until it cracks and lies as flat as possible.

Brush all sides of both pieces of chicken with the garlic-oil using rosemary brush. Sprinkle all sides with chopped rosemary leaves, salt, and pepper.

Grill both pieces of chicken, skin side down, over direct heat, until skin is golden brown, crispy, and lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip both pieces of chicken over, transfer to indirect heat, and baste with rosemary brush dipped in garlic-oil.

Continue to grill chicken, basting occasionally, until skin is golden brown, juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, 45–60 minutes for whole chicken and 25–35 minutes for chicken breast. Let chicken stand at least 10 minutes before carving. Arrange chicken on a serving platter and serve with chimichurri sauce alongside.


Bite-Size Chipotle Chicken Soft Tacos (tinga de pollo)

YIELD: Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 1/4 hours


1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts with skin and bones
5 cups water
1 large white onion, finely chopped and divided
2 large garlic cloves; 1 whole, 1 finely chopped
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 4; see Cooks' notes)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle in adobo, including some sauce
24 (5- to 6-inch) soft corn tortillas
1/4 cup crumbled cotija or mild goat cheese
24 small sprigs cilantro
Special equipment: Instant-read thermometer (optional); a 3-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter

Combine chicken with water, half of onion, whole garlic clove, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium (3- to 4- quart) saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer for 10 minutes. Cover and let sit until chicken is just cooked through (165°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Strain and reserve 1 cup of broth for tinga and save remaining broth for another use.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it, discarding skin and bones.

Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl of ice water. Peel and core, then finely chop.

Cook remaining chopped onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and crumble in oregano, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomato and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened but still saucy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (a toaster oven works fine, too).

Add chicken, 3/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid, and chipotle to the tomato sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and excess liquid is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to warm and moisten with additional cooking liquid if mixture looks dry.

Meanwhile, using cookie cutter, cut out a circle from each tortilla, stacking 12 in each of two folded sheets of foil (reserve remaining tortilla scraps for chilaquiles). Wrap each stack in foil and warm through in oven, 5 to 10 minutes.

To serve, arrange warm tortillas on a heated platter and divide chicken mixture among them (about 1 rounded tablespoon per tortilla), spooning it onto center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and top each taco with a cilantro sprig.

Cooks' notes: •Chicken mixture can made up to 2 days ahead. Reheat in a heavy saucepan over low heat, moistening it with water or broth, if necessary.
•Although we prefer the flavor of fresh tomatoes in this dish, if you want, you can substitute a scant 2 cups of drained and chopped canned tomatoes.



You can do this!




Mulled Wine

November brings more than just cooler temperatures. November brings many opportunities to gather with family and friends.

This simple, yet beautiful and tasty drink says, "Welcome I'm glad you stopped by."
Remember, Celebrate Responsibly.

Serves 5 - 6

1 – 750 ml bottle red wine like Cline Cashmere
1⁄2 cup sugar
8 whole cloves
4 lemon wedges
4 cinnamon sticks

In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and discard the cloves.
An Irish coffee cup is perfect to serve your mulled wine in. If not available, use any hot beverage cup such as a coffee or tea cup.
Fill cup and garnish with one of the cinnamon sticks and a lemon wedge.
Serve hot.

Visit for more cocktail recipes as well as wine ideas for Thanksgiving.



Visit the Colonial Tasting Bar at this link


Sunflowers (November)

Sunflowers are one of the floral highlights of November in the northeastern United States. These bold, cheerful flowers look lovely in single-flower arrangements and are also a charmingly eclectic addition to a mixed arrangement.



Click here to view older archived stories from


All content owned by Chris H. Olsen • Copyright 2015 • View Disclaimer