On the heels of the clams pasta arrabbiata comes this chicken dish braised in the same spicy tomato sauce. In this chicken arrabbiata recipe, chicken legs were seasoned, dredged in flour and drizzled with olive oil before browning in a 475F oven. While the chicken seared in the intense heat, the arrabbiata sauce was prepared on the stovetop. The browned chicken legs went into the pot with the arrabbiata sauce where they braised until cooked through.
Why sear the chicken in the oven instead of the stovetop? No particular reason except that it’s a humid day and the thought of minding two pans on the stove wasn’t a particularly pleasant thought. By browning the chicken in the oven, I was able to step back from the kitchen while the arrabbiata sauce reduced.
You can choose to brown the chicken on a frying pan, of course. Pour off the oil, make the sauce in the same pan then add the browned chicken when the sauce is ready.
Me? I’m pretty happy with this brown-the-chicken-in-the-oven procedure for making chicken arrabbiata.
- 1/2 kilo chicken legs or thighs
- 1/4 cup flour
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- ¼ cup onion finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- pinch oregano dried
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives drained
- 1 tablespoon capers drained
- 1 and 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 475F.
- Wipe the chicken with paper towels. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Mix well working the salt and pepper into the meat.
- Line a baking pan with non-stick paper. Spray or brush the paper lightly with oil.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in flour (make sure to coat completely) and arrange on the prepared tray.
- Drizzle each piece of chicken with about half a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Brown the chicken at 475F for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the oven, make the arrabbiata sauce. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onion, chili flakes and oregano. Saute until fragrant.
- Throw in the olives and capers. Cook for another minute.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle in salt, pepper and a little sugar. How much salt pepper and sugar? To taste. Simmer, covered, until reduced by a quarter, about 10 minutes.
- Take the browned chicken out of the oven and add to the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done and the sauce is very thick.
- Arrange the chicken pieces on a plate. Drizzle the remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve the chicken arrabbiata with rice, pasta or bread.