After a longer-than-intended hiatus that included the launching of a new business, a month-long travel stint, and several other beautiful life happenings, the Grain-Free Love kitchen is back in action! What better way to start off 2016 than with a recipe that includes the word “skillet”?
I can’t be the only one who’s transported by the utterance of the word “skillet” to a warm, toasty kitchen with a crackling fire, sizzling succulent foods, and fantasies of cast-iron deliciousness keeping me warm from a roaring blizzard outside. (Am I?)
That’s why I’ve been perfecting this chicken skillet recipe for months now. It started off innocently enough. I want chicken parm tonight, Marc said. Let’s go ahead and make it, I said. But then things went awry. It turned into a skillet fest.
After our first love affair with chicken pan-seared and then baked in a skillet, I started experimenting with ways to innovate our old stand-by and devoted friend, the Grain-Free Chicken Parmigiana recipe. And while that recipe is much-loved and remains forever on our dinner rotation, the creation of this Tomato & Mozzarella Crispy Chicken Skillet recipe has really turned it up a notch as far as chicken-y cheese-y dishes go, in our humble skillety opinions.
First off, instead of using breaded chicken breast, we’ve thrown caution to the wind and gone for the tastiest chicken part there is: the thigh. By using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, the flavor is bursting through in this dish, complete with extra crispy skin (think KFC chicken skin, expect without the parts that shave 2 years off your life), juicy meat, and mouth-watering taste. The addition of pan-seared diced prosciutto (or pancetta, if you prefer), spicy red pepper flakes, savory onions, fresh garlic and basil, and a handful of capers—well, I needn’t say more.
Imagine all of this cooked down in a quick San Marzano tomato sauce and topped with bubbly Mozzarella cheese, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what went down in our kitchen last night. Now make it go down in yours.
- 4 medium to large chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- ¼ cup diced prosciutto or pancetta
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1 Tbs. capers
- 1 28 oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded or fresh
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
- Red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs on all sides and let rest.
- In a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add diced prosciutto, cooking until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
- Remove prosciutto from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add chicken to the hot pan and cook for 15 minutes, about 7 minutes per side, until skin is crispy and the thighs have a nice golden-brown sear.
- Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Next, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent.
- Add the capers and two large pinches of red pepper flakes to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes (with their juices) and 4 fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped) to the pan mixture.
- Let cook and stir until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Break up the tomatoes with your spatula as you stir.
- Return chicken to the pan of sauce and place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until chicken cooks through.
- Remove skillet from oven and change oven setting to broil.
- Add Mozzarella cheese, as desired, in generous pinches around the top of the dish and return to the oven until cheese is bubbly and golden but not burned, about 3 minutes.
- Garnish the dish with prosciutto and torn basil leaves, and enjoy!
How’d you like this delectable grain-free chicken recipe? Let us know in the comments below!