chicken calabrese

4 to 6    |   
Prep Time:
15 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
1 hour

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chicken calabrese

original recipe by Rosetta Costantino

Everyone is searching for that magic recipe, the one that you throw together, walk away from, and dinner is done. Well, I have found it in this one-pan dish that comes from Italy, which means it’s elegantly simple: a few ingredients roasted until each flavor brings out the best in the other. The chicken is juicy; the vegetables almost jammy. It is the masterwork of Rosetta Costantino from her cookbook, My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy’s Undiscovered South. Last week, I joined a cooking class with Rosetta and while I was proud of the pasta I helped roll by hand on a wooden dowel, it’s this that I will make over and over. The tomatoes need to be truly ripe, so heirlooms are perfect. If it’s not tomato time of year, use Roma or hot-house tomatoes. Rosetta uses mild Calabrian peppers to season this; dry Aleppo pepper or paprika and a touch of cayenne work as well. If you don’t like spice, leave it out.


4 chicken legs, divided into thighs and drumsticks, or 8 bone-in, skin-on thighs
kosher salt
freshly ground  pepper
1-1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes
3/4 lb ripe tomatoes
1 large yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp Calabrian chili peppers or Aleppo pepper, or paprika and a pinch of cayenne, optional


Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut the potatoes into 2-inch chunks (do not peel). Core the tomatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Halve the onion and slice about 1/2-inch thick. Peel and halve the garlic cloves. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the oregano and olive oil. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and several grindings of pepper and mix well. With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer, such as a 9×13-inch glass or ceramic dish. Put the chicken in the bowl used for the vegetables and turn chicken to coat it in the oil and herbs left behind (if necessary, drizzle in a little more oil). Place the chicken skin side up on top of the vegetables in the dish and sprinkle with chili pepper, if using.

Bake on bottom rack of the oven until chicken is well browned, potatoes are tender and tomatoes are almost jammy, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve.