Rustic arrabbiata chicken

This is another great 2 night recipe. Initially I was dissappointed with the recipe as it looked nothing like the recipe photo had promised (but then, I did diverge from the recipe quite a bit) until I tried the leftovers with spaghetti – and it went marvellously. It’s like the sauce that so many of the arrabiata shop bought ready-meal style products are going for but never actually deliver on (although I should caveat it’s not at all spicy, which the internets tells me arrabiata is). It’s creamy (with no cream in sight!), tasty and rich, combining perfectly with spaghetti.

Before I go into details I should explain a couple of reasons why my meal was so diferent to the source recipe I was following on

  • Instead of buying individual bits of chicken I bought a whole chicken which I think was bigger than the recipe called for, and jointed it myself (first time!). This did result in the overall cost being cheaper, and bigger pieces than if I’d bought them individually in a supermarket. However, I think the breast meat might have dried out a little in cooking while all the meat on the bone was delicious so if I make this again I’ll probably use just meat on the bone if I can.
  • I did panic a bit when cooking this and undoubtedly added more water than I should have, looking to keep the chicken cooking in liquid until I was happy it was cooked. However this is part of what makes it great as a sauce with spaghetti.


  • Enough chicken (I had a whole, jointed chicken which served us for about 5 portions)DSC_2843_1
  • 2 peppers (I went one red, one yellow)
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 200ml passata
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • large handful chopped parsley
  • 300ml white wine
  • about 500 ml chicken stock (use homemade if at all possible)


  1. Joint the chicken if needed, then heat some oil to a large pan and brown the chicken. Remove and place on kitchen paper to drain. While it’s browning, roughly chop the peppers, finely chop the onion, crush the garlic, and slice the celery. If you’re having spaghetti, put the water on to boil.
  2. Add the veg to the pan and cook on a lively heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.DSC_2842_1
  3. Then add wine and keep cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the cherry tomatoes, passata and bay leaf. Stir and keep cooking for another 5 minutes. Start cooking the spaghetti in a seperate pan as you’ve got about 20 minutes left. .
  4. Then add the chicken pieces in to the sauce and turn down to a simmer. Add seasoning then cook for about 10 minutes. Add chicken stock if you want more sauce or if the chicken isn’t covered and is drying out.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, add the parsley and check the seasoning before remove from the stove.
  6. Plate up – with a sprinkling of parmesan if that’s your thing.

If you’re not so into pasta, then it’s pretty tasty by itself or you could substitute with couscous, bread, quinoa … the usual suspects!


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