Chicken Contadina - a classic, country-style chicken recipe of crispy chicken bathed in a fragrant white wine sauce with tomatoes and fresh herbs!
This stew-like dish has plenty of sauce to top pasta or to sop up with some crusty bread. A simple and hearty dinner you can get on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Table of contents
Chicken Contadina or Pollo alla contadina is hearty, rustic and absolutely delicious. Like Chicken Scarpariello, Chicken Contadina is an Italian American recipe - inspired by Italian country cooking, it makes the most of simple and humble ingredients.
This is the kind of recipe you can almost make on the spur of the moment. With a short ingredient list, it's weeknight-friendly but flavorful and pretty enough for a crowd!
Ingredients you will need to make it!
Like many classic Italian recipes, this chicken dish is extremely flexible and is designed around the idea of using what you have. Feel free to adapt it to what's in your fridge and pantry!!
- Chicken thighs - I use boneless, skinless thighs, but you could use almost any piece of chicken - drumsticks, breasts, legs, bone-in and/or skin on or off!
- Onions - I used yellow onions, but both red and white would work!
- White wine - I used dry white wine. For those who don't drink, 1 to 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice is a great substitute.
- Chicken Stock - I used Better than Bouillon (my go-to) but use any chicken stock that you normally use.
- Tomatoes - I used cherry tomatoes since that's what I had almost any kind of tomatoes will work. Canned (whole or diced) fresh or even dried tomatoes would all be delicious!
- Fresh Herbs - I used rosemary since it's in my garden, you could use fresh parsley or oregano. Don't have fresh herbs? Substitute a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, basil and/or oregano instead.
- Lemon zest - OPTIONAL but a little bit of zest brightens the flavors.
- Fresh Parsley - OPTIONAL but parsley adds color and freshness.
- Salt, pepper & olive oil
How to Make this Chicken Contadina Recipe
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. I generally use a large pinch of salt since stock can be salty! You can always add more salt - but you can't take it out!
- Use a large skillet (with a lid) or a dutch oven and heat it over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Sear the chicken until it's golden brown.
- Remove the chicken and add the onions, carrots, celery, herbs and garlic. Let cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the wine and cook until the wine has almost evaporated and continue to scrape the pan. I like to use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon for this!
- Add the chicken, stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon zest if you're using it and serve!
You don't need to wash your chicken before cooking! Just remove it from the package and blot the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. The 'secret" to getting a nice, golden brown sear on chicken (or any meat!) is to have as dry a surface as possible!
What to serve with this Italian Chicken Recipe
This rustic Italian chicken recipe not only has flexible ingredients but is also really flexible in terms of side dishes as well! Pasta is a natural "go with" but there are lots of other side dishes that pair really well!
- Parmesan Risotto - the Italian classic made in the Instant pot.
- Rice Pilaf with Orzo - nutty and fluffy and great for soaking up sauce!
- Stuffed Mushrooms - stuffed with lemon, parmesan, parsley and garlic, these are irresistible.
- Fresh Fruit Cake - a lovely butter cake baked with seasonal fruit!
Other Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thigh Recipes
- Chicken Marbella - a Silver Palate Cookbook classic!
- Madras Curry - this easy weeknight curry is a great introduction to Indian Curries!
- Moroccan Chicken Stew - dried apricots and warm spices flavor this easy weeknight take on a classic chicken tagine.
- Olive Chicken - lemon and green olives flavor this one-pan chicken recipe!
If you enjoyed this recipe, I would LOVE for you to give it a 5-star rating! Cheers! Nancy
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs skinless, boneless
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced with salt
- 4 sprigs rosemary OR parsley or 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or other fresh or canned tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. Italian parsley minced
- 1 lemon zested
- Blot the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Cut onion into ¼ inch slices.
- Peel and dice the carrot into ½ dice.
- Slice the celery into ½ dice.
- Mince the garlic with a little salt. This helps break down the garlic so that it melts into the sauce.
- Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the chicken and cook for 4 - 5 minutes until the chicken easily lifts from the pan and is golden brown.
- Turn the chicken over and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, and herbs and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 3 -4 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir, scraping up the bottom of the pan.
- Continue to cook until almost all the wine has evaporated.
- Add the chicken back to the pan (with any accumulated juices), the stock and the tomatoes.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Cover the skillet and continue to simmer for another 10 - 15 minutes our until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- If using fresh herbs, remove any stems. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley on top and serve.