Chicken Puttanesca | Virtually Homemade: Chicken Puttanesca

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chicken Puttanesca

I know it might sound weird, but I think of my family as customers around dinnertime. I am aiming to please, just as if they were paying guests.  When I prepared this Chicken Puttanesca, I knew my husband would be my best customer for this particular dinner. A hearty chicken and pasta dish – it has my husband’s name written all over it.

However, I wouldn’t say that my husband is my best overall customer.  That designation definitely goes to my 16 year old son Jake.  This kid can eat and he seems to love just about everything I make.  Even my weird recipe testing dishes, with duck or ham hocks, seem to disappear within seconds accompanied by lots of “yums” and praise for the cook.  What can I say - it brings me joy and makes all my hours in the kitchen worthwhile!

So lets get back to this spectacular chicken dish.  It’s salty, spicy, tangy and a perfectly filling meal on chilly winter nights.  Crushed red pepper lend a hint of heat and the briney capers and olives add little bursts of salty yummy flavor that really liven up your palate.  I always have boneless chicken breasts in my freezer and this is an easy way to dress it up.

The chicken is quickly marinated in a simple tomato balsamic base and then sautéed to golden perfection before letting the tomatoes cook and intermingle with the crushed red pepper, capers and olives.  It’s all tied together with orzo that makes the perfect backdrop for this Italian recipe.

My husband was my best customer, extolling accolades before he even ate it, but Jake was fairly enthusiastic as well.  My daughter was a little put off by the oil cured olives and capers, but I guess you can’t win them all.

Chicken Puttanesca
Recipe by Liz Hughes - Virtually Homemade
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon of caper brine
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup oil cured olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together marinade ingredients. Put chicken in the bowl and toss until completely coated. Set aside on the counter for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high. Remove chicken from the marinade and cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add tomatoes and their liquid, oregano, olives and capers to the skillet. Cook until boiling and let thicken, about 4 minutes. Put chicken and accumulated juices back in the skillet and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with orzo pasta if desired.
More Comfort Food Chicken Dishes from my favorite food bloggers and FN Dish:
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Green Chilies
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Fried Chicken Cutlets with Madeira Gravy
Weelicious: Roast Chicken with Caramelized Lemons
Devour: Giada's Top Chicken Dinners
Taste With The Eyes: Griddled Gochujang Chicken Sandwich, "Kimchi" Slaw and Seaweed Mayo
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Italian Chicken Stew with Olives and Kale
Red or Green?: Oven-Fried Tortilla Chicken Drumsticks
Blue Apron Blog: 5 Not Boring Weeknight Chicken Recipes
Virtually Homemade: Chicken Puttanesca
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Spicy Deep Fried Chicken
Domesticate Me: Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders with Sriracha Honey Mustard (Gluten-Free!)
Dishing with Divya: Couscous with Chicken and Vegetables
In Jennie's Kitchen: How to Roast a Chicken
FN Dish: Winning Chicken Dinners


  1. Liz your recipe sound very good. I will definitely try it. I love adding capers to recipes -- which I do a lot. I like that you have the large orzo for your pasta. I love mixing things up. I'm into all sorts of different grains now. The photos really capture the dish.

  2. I love Puttanesca and this is one pretty Puttanesca, my friend!

  3. Wonderful recipe Liz ~ perfect for our comfort food fest!

    1. Thanks Jane! I love your chicken cutlets and the gluten free option :)


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