Chicken arrabiata is one of those easy chicken recipes you’ll find yourself making again and again. It’s a simple chicken dish with spicy red sauce that you can serve over pasta or rich and creamy polenta. But you definitely want this easy recipe for your weeknight recipe arsenal.
This spicy chicken dish is an Italian recipe that means “angry.” I suppose how angry is determined by how hot you decide you want to make that red sauce. My version of spicy chicken is more like mildly ticked off. You could go off the charts angry if that’s what you like.
I like that this is one of those easy chicken recipes that uses the inexpensive part of the chicken, the legs. I can almost always find chicken legs on sale for right around a buck a pound. So that makes this an inexpensive recipe too.
To make this rich and spicy chicken I braise the legs with five different peppers (not all of them are hot) along with lots of tomatoes. The dark meat from the chicken, as well as the bones, help to give the sauce a nice richness that pairs perfectly with some creamy polenta or penne pasta.
- 5 - 6 Chicken Legs
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion (diced)
- 5 - 6 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1½ Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Large Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 Large Red Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 28 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper all over.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot add the chicken skin side down and cook, turning once, until browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter skin side up and set aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. But don't pour it down your kitchen sink drain!
- Add the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and bay leaf to pan and cook, occasionally stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the bell peppers and and cook until they've softened.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the vinegar and bring to a simmer.
- Place the chicken legs in the skillet skin side up. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Serve over polenta or penne pasta.
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