Go Back
+ servings

Skillet Chicken Swimming in Spicy Pizza Sauce


  • 3 ½ lbs bone-in chicken thighs, or an assortment of chicken pieces
  • 2 tsp fine grain sea salt + more to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 oz pancetta, diced (or bacon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes (more or less depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • 1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 3 ½ cups ripe tomatoes diced (or two 13.5 oz cans diced)
  • 1 large sprig fresh basil + chopped basil leaves for serving
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into 1" cubes


  • Pat the chicken dry and season with a pinch of fine grain sea salt and a grind of black pepper
  • Over medium-high heat, add a glug of olive oil and give it a minute or so to heat up
  • Add the pancetta
  • Cook, stirring frequently until it's well browned and crisp (~ 3 minutes)
  • Using a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate
  • Add the chicken to the skillet and sear, turning the pieces only occasionally, until it's well browned on all sides (~ 10 minutes)
  • Transfer them to a large plate
  • Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the oil in the skillet. Add the garlic, anchovies, capers, and chili flakes to the skillet; sauté for 1 minute.
  • Stir in all the diced tomatoes, the basil sprig, and a pinch of fine grain sea salt, along with a grind or two of fresh black pepper
  • Cook, breaking up the tomatoes with a spatula until the sauce has thickened somewhat (~ 10 minutes)
  • While the sauce is cooking, heat the oven to 400° deg F
  • On a baking sheet, add the cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, transfer the skillet to the oven, and cook, uncovered until the chicken is no longer pink (~ 30 minutes)
  • On a separate rack in the oven, add the cherry tomatoes
  • Remove the cherry tomatoes from the oven and set aside
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and scatter the mozzarella over the chicken.
  • Turn on the broiler, place the skillet under the heat source, and broil until the cheese is bubbling (~ 1 to 3 minutes) ** Note: watch it carefully
  • Garnish the chicken with the roasted tomatoes, browned pancetta, and basil before serving