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Playing Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken Sicilian Style


  • 2 large pieces chicken breast, bone-in, skin-on, halved across
  • 4 pieces dark meat chicken, bone-in, skin on, thighs and/or legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, about 2/3 palmful, optional
  • 4 small ribs celery and leafy tops from heart, chopped
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 cup pitted Sicilian olives
  • 6-8 small ripe plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 handful large golden raisins, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups Nero DAvola Sicilian red wine or other spicy red wine
  • 6 cups arugula or baby arugula
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, such as ciabatta


Serves: 4


Preheat cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and the oven to 400F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper liberally on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in the skillet, one turn of the pan. When oil smokes, add chicken and brown a few minutes on each side then remove and turn heat down a bit.

Add some EVOO to pan, 2 turns of the pan, and add fennel seeds and stir; add celery, peppers and onions, season with salt and pepper and soften 3 - 4 minutes. Then add garlic, red pepper flakes and saut 2 minutes more.

Add tomatoes and golden raisins if using, stir to combine, then stir in wine to deglaze pan. Set chicken back on top of pan and transfer to oven.

Roast 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Serve from pan at table and pass arugula dressed with lemon and EVOO, salt and pepper and crusty bread for mopping.