Tomato & Mozzarella Crispy Chicken Skillet Recipe

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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.

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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.

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Tomato & Mozzarella Crispy Chicken Skillet Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 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
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs on all sides and let rest.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add diced prosciutto, cooking until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove prosciutto from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. 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.
  7. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  8. Next, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent.
  9. Add the capers and two large pinches of red pepper flakes to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes.
  10. Add tomatoes (with their juices) and 4 fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped) to the pan mixture.
  11. Let cook and stir until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Break up the tomatoes with your spatula as you stir.
  12. Return chicken to the pan of sauce and place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until chicken cooks through.
  13. Remove skillet from oven and change oven setting to broil.
  14. 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.
  15. Garnish the dish with prosciutto and torn basil leaves, and enjoy!

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How’d you like this delectable grain-free chicken recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Xo,
S

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