Chicken Livornese

Serves 4 to 6
Any chicken dish with Italian flavors that slowly simmers in the oven is my kind of dinner. As this stew bubbles away, the scent permeates the house with an irresistible aroma—and provides sense memories that will stay with your children for the rest of their lives. To get 18 pieces of chicken, cut each of the drumsticks, thighs, and wings in half and each of the breasts in thirds (or have your butcher do it). Serve with Creamy Polenta to soak up the savory sauce.


  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut up into 18 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Gaeta olives, pitted
  • 1 rounded tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle position.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a 12-inch braiser pan or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until rich golden brown. Flip chicken and continue to brown for 3-4 minutes and transfer to a plate.
  4. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute until translucent, 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and red-pepper flakes and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Deglaze pan with white wine and reduce liquid by half. Stir in tomatoes, olives, and capers. Return chicken to pan, skin side up, and transfer to oven. Braise in oven for 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into center of thickest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees. Sprinkle parsley over top just before serving.
cook's note
Good to know: This dish can also braise away, partially covered, on the stovetop, on a portable burner, or in an electric skillet (about 10 minutes longer) at low heat
if you don’t feel like turning on the oven—or you don’t have one. Oven heat, however, which surrounds the pan, just makes for more even cooking
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: