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Skillet chicken with mozzarella and tomato will become a family favourite.
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5 from 4 votes

skillet chicken with mozzarella and tomato

Skillet chicken with mozzarella and tomato is a chicken Margherita pizza without the crust. Melted mozzarella, crispy chicken and marinara sauce. What's better than that?
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pizza chicken, skillet chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 897kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


Marinara sauce

  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 oz pork fat back coarsely chopped (can substitute pancetta)
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • salt to taste - about a tsp, depending on how salty your tomatoes are

Skillet chicken

  • 1 3-4 lb good quality chicken cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 anchovy chopped
  • 3 Calabrian chilies chopped (or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes)
  • 3-4 leaves basil plus more for garnish
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella - also known as fior di latte, cut into 3/4" cubes


Marinara sauce

  • Hand crush the tomatoes, removing the tough piece of core in each tomato (the stem end). You could just put them through a food mill but using your hands is fun.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a 3 quart pot or sauce pan.
  • Add the fat back or pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered. If you use fat back, remove the rinds. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. You can use the extra to fry the chicken.
  • Add the onions, regulating the heat so they turn translucent but do not brown. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, add the salt and simmer for about half an hour. You can cut back on the simmering time if you are in a rush. The sauce continues to cook with the chicken.

Skillet chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (12 inches is about right).
  • Brown the chicken well. Take your time. 10 minutes is about right.
  • Remove the chicken and spoon off all but about 1 Tbsp of the fat in the pan.
  • Add the Calabrian chili and anchovy and cook briefly.
  • Add about a 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and scrape up all the brown bits (it's called a fond) in the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix in the remaining marinara, add the basil and bring to a simmer. 
  • Top with the chicken. Try to keep the browned skin above the surface of the marinara to keep it crisp in the oven. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 165F, around 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. If the sauce is overly runny, remove the chicken and simmer the sauce briefly to thicken.
  • Set your oven up to broil.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle chunks of mozzarella overtop and place under the broiler to melt the cheese.
  • Garnish with a bit of shredded basil.
  • Serve with a bit of gnocchi if you want a starch. Rapini makes a nice vegetable complement if you want a vegetable on the plate. Or just serve it with good crusty bread to sop up the sauce.


Cutting a chicken up into 10 pieces - 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 whole wings and each half of the breast cut into half again.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 897kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 1056mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1710IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 380mg | Iron: 5.1mg