Juicy chicken with crispy skin in a spicy tomato sauce with bell peppers, olives and capers. Inspired by Mario Batali’s Sicilian Chicken (but more sauce!). Feel free to dial back the spiciness. Made on the stove, this is a hearty dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Recipe VIDEO below.
5chicken thighs , skin on, bone in (about 200g / 7 oz each) (Note 1 for breast)
Salt and pepper
2garlic cloves, minced
1medium onion, finely chopped
1EACH red and green capsicum / bell pepper, sliced
½ cup / 125 mlwhite or red wine (any is fine, I use dry white) (Note 2 for subs)
800 g / 28 oz can crushed tomato
¾ cup / 185 mlwater, swilled in empty tomato can
1tspred pepper flakes(chilli flakes), adjust to taste
3/4cupblack olives, pitted (or 1/3 cup sliced)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼cupfinely chopped parsley
Use a small knife to prick 5 or so gashes into the skin of the chicken. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
Place chicken skin side down in a cold large non stick skillet, then turn stove onto medium high. As it heats up, the fat under the skin will start to melt through the holes in the skin.
Cook for 4 – 5 minutes or until the skin is golden and crispy. Turn the chicken and cook the other side for 3 minutes.
Remove chicken onto a plate, discard fat (don’t scrape the pan) then return to the stove.
Add oil, garlic and onion. Cook for 1 minute, then add capsicum. Cook for 2 minutes then add wine. Bring to a simmer and stir, scraping the pan to get those golden bits mixed in.
Once most of the wine is evaporated and it doesn’t smell winey anymore, add the tomato, water and pepper flakes. Stir, bring to a simmer, adjust heat so it’s bubbling energetically but not rapidly (and not slowly).
After 5 minutes (or so), stir through olives and capers. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper.
Then place chicken into the sauce, being careful not to submerge the skin. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Sprinkle over parsley. Serve with crusty bread, or use half the sauce to toss through / pour over pasta and the other half to serve with chicken (see photos in post).
1. CHICKEN BREAST option: Use 4 small breasts or 3 medium ones, pound to even thickness about 1.5cm / 2/3" thick (makes it more tender too). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, sear with 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Then add it back into the pan for 3 minutes at the end.2. Sub with chicken broth or even water.3. CRISPY SKIN: The technique used to make crispy skin is one I learned from my mother’s Teriyaki Chicken. It’s a super way to remove excess fat (and healthier too!!) to make the skin really crispy without using any oil to cook the chicken.4. WORKFLOW: This recipe flows nicely in a way that you can easily get this on the table in 30 minutes. Start the chicken in the cold pan, and meanwhile start chopping the ingredients for the sauce. While the onion etc are being sautéed, open the tomatoes, grab you red pepper flakes. While the sauce is simmering, measure out the olives etc. See? Nice flow!5. FALL APART MEAT: The chicken in this recipe is very juicy because it's thigh plus simmered in the sauce. However, I know some people are a fan of super tender meat so in order to do that, put the chicken into the sauce after you add the tomato and water, put the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender to your taste. You may need to add more water and you will lose the crispy skin, but you'll get super tender flesh!6. NUTRITION: Please note that approximately 2.5 tbsp (300 calories) of fat is discard in this recipe but I don't know how to subtract that in the nutrition calculator. So the corrected estimated calories per serving is about 497 calories per serving.