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Playing "Emergency" Dinner Idea: One-Skillet Chicken + Chickpeas

"If you're like me, it's somehow always 5pm and you haven't thought at all about what's for dinner. Well, here's my tried-and-true answer! The beauty of this 'emergency' dinner recipe is that not only is it tasty, quick and easy, it relies on mostly pantry ingredients and is very versatile. You can sub in different oils, proteins, seasonings and cooking liquids depending on what you have on hand and like (see my list of suggestions below). As for the canned ingredients, those are flexible, too. Don't like roasted red peppers? Skip them completely or swap in peppadews or marinated mushrooms! There are no rules aside from following the basic technique. This is truly the ultimate busy person's guide to a successful, delicious and comforting meal any night of the week, even at the last minute." —Jeanette Donnarumma, "Rachael Ray Show" culinary producer and (very busy, very tired) mom of two 

For more popular recipes from Jeanette, check out her Ham, Egg + Cheese Hash Brown Waffles and 3-Cheese Garlic Bread Loaf


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, crushed (no one has time for grating!)
  • ½ cup water or stock
  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • One 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • One 12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • Chopped parsley or other fresh herbs (optional; don't worry if you don't have it)
  • Sliced and toasted ciabatta bread (optional; don't worry if you don't have it)


Serves: 4 to 6


Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large ovenproof skillet. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, reserving skillet, and set aside. 

Add onion and garlic to skillet and saute over medium-high until coated in the pan drippings and softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze with water or stock and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chickpeas, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Add the reserved chicken thighs and bake until chicken is cooked through and the vegetable mixture is bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Top with herbs (if using) and serve with toasted ciabatta (if using). 

Substitution Options: 
—Oil: Pretty much any type of cooking oil is fine; I usually have olive, avocado and coconut oil in the pantry. 

—Protein: I always have something defrosting in my fridge. It happened to be chicken thighs when I tested this recipe, but you can also use boneless or bone-in pork chops, halved bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, even thick fish fillets. Just adjust the cooking time, as needed. 

—Seasonings: The recipe is flavorful as is, but feel free to add different seasonings when you stir in the chickpeas and other canned ingredients. Some ground cumin, smoked paprika or rosemary would be nice!  

—Liquid: You can use white or red wine or homemade or store-bought stock. No need to go to the store for those, though: water is perfectly fine.

—One More Idea: For a saucy, tomatoey twist, stir in a 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes when you add the liquid. So good!