Chicken Fra Diavolo


This chicken fra diavolo is chicken thighs in my version of fra diavolo sauce, the spicy Italian pepper and tomato sauce with fresh herbs and white wine, usually used with seafood. We like spicy, and I wondered, “why not chicken?” We liked it with crusty bread, to get every last drop of the sauce.

skillet with chicken things in a tomato sauce with Parmesan and basil
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins


  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 hot red pepper, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) crushed fire roasted tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels, and trim away extra skin and excess fat. Season each chicken thigh with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.

  4. When the butter is bubbling, add chicken thighs. Being careful not to crowd the skillet, work in batches to brown each thigh, 3 to 5 minutes per side. When all the thighs are browned, remove to a plate and keep warm.

  5. To the same skillet, add chopped onions and hot red pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  6. Stir in wine, add tomato paste, and cook about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and minced basil and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Nestle browned chicken thighs, skin side up, into the sauce, and add any accumulated juices.

  7. Place skillet in oven; bake until an instant-read thermometer reads at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) when inserted near the center of chicken thighs.

  8. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley and garnish with additional basil leaves, if desired. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste. Serve warm.

    Cook’s Note

    Use food service gloves while handling hot pepper, and avoid contact with eyes. Discard seeds and inner membranes to “tame” the heat, if desired, or add more spicy red pepper, if you like a lot of heat.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

414 Calories
26g Fat
7g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 414
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 200mg 67%
Sodium 425mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 44mg 221%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 637mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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