Chicken with Anchovies

Chicken with Anchovies |

Do you have a recipe that you turn to repeatedly, one that you can whip up effortlessly when you are utterly exhausted or simply craving a comforting meal? For me, THIS chicken with anchovies is one of those dishes. It’s like culinary comfort food, a warm hug on a plate. I could practically cook it in my sleep, and truth be told, I’ve come pretty close during my recent bouts of jet lag and busy schedules. (More on those activities below! 💃🏻)

The recipe was not one that our Mom made for us growing up. It was our Aunt Mary, our Dad’s sister, whose inlaws made this dish. They immigrated from Calabria, Italy to Roseto, Pennsylvania – an Italian immigrant enclave that is famously featured in the book “Outliers” due to the town’s extremely low incidence of heart disease. (Perhaps this chicken with anchovies contributed to their health!)

Our Aunt Mary always served this dish as the second course on Palm Sunday – a dish equally suited for a casual weeknight dinner or a holiday meal. The anchovies melt away into the chicken and mingle with the flavors of balsamic and capers to create a delectable, mouth-watering sauce that bathes the chicken thighs. But before we dive into the recipe, let me share a few highlights from recent activities! (My blog post next month will be a more in-depth look at my most recent Sicily trip.)

It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks (and I am incredibly grateful 💛 for it all!) First in late March, I was off to Sicily to spend more time in Palermo and western Sicily. Once back in the US, I had but a few short days to catch my breath before very dear friends arrived from Montalcino for a series of incredibly fun wine tastings that we have been organizing over the past few months. Now with my friends tucked safely back home, I have a few minutes to sit and savor before we head back to Italy for a bit of R&R in Montalcino.

A Week of Traveling Solo in Sicily

My week in Sicily was filled with new friends and that glorious Sicilian food. Could I love this island anymore? I spent quite a bit of time in Sicily from 2004-2008 (that ‘long-ago-ex-boyfriend’ thing that you may remember from this post) but that time was largely spent on the eastern side of the island, near Taormina. I never had an opportunity to explore western Sicily and wow – I absolutely love this ‘wilder’ side of the island! I was traveling solo on this trip, which I always find allows me to not only practice my Italian but also have some great conversations with the locals. (One day I will write an entire post about the magic of traveling solo. 💛 Do you enjoy traveling on your own?)

I spent a long weekend in gritty, glorious Palermo and then picked up a rental car back at the airport before heading off to Castellammare del Golfo, about 30 minutes south. The rest of the week was spent cooking with new friends, visiting nearby villages, and a great visit out to the salt flats of Trapani. So many details to share – look for next month’s post which will be focused on western Sicily. In the meantime, a few photos to share…

The markets in Palermo ❤️

The Fishermen of Castellammare 🐟

Cooking with La Squadra (the team) 💃🏻

More to come next month….so on to….

Chicken with Anchovies

This recipe turns ordinary chicken thighs into something magical with a pan sauce made of anchovies, garlic, capers, and tangy balsamic vinegar. It is quick enough to prepare for a weeknight and as mentioned, special enough to serve for a crowd. (And for those that wrinkle their nose at anchovies, don’t even tell them they are in there until after they rave about this dish!)

I prefer to use chicken thighs for the recipe as they are tastier and more forgiving than chicken breasts. You can easily substitute chicken breasts if that is your preference but be sure to watch them so they do not overcook and become dry.

This delectable pan sauce bathes the chicken in all its tanginess. I love to serve roasted potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce and a simple romaine salad alongside.

Hoping this dish becomes one of your favorites as well,

Alla prossima!

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Chicken with Anchovies |

Chicken with Anchovies

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5 from 1 review


This savory dish bathes chicken thighs in a sauce of anchovies, capers, garlic, and balsamic vinegar – a delicious combination that turns ordinary chicken thighs into a heavenly meal.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 2 pounds of chicken thighs (bone-in; skinless)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tin anchovies (2 ounces), chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers (rinsed if packed in salt; drained if packed in vinegar)
  • ½ cup dry white wine (can substitute chicken stock)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper



1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet large enough to fit the chicken pieces over medium heat until hot.

2. Brown chicken thighs on all sides – about 5 minutes on each side.

3. Remove chicken thighs to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic to oil and sauté until just turning brown, about 30 seconds.

4. Add the anchovies and sauté until dissolved in the oil.

5. Add the balsamic vinegar, capers and wine. Stir to combine. Simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add chicken thighs back into pot and let simmer, uncovered,  until chicken is tender and cooked through to165°. Turn chicken occasionally. Keep chicken partially submerged. (It may be necessary to add more wine or stock. Feel free to add in more balsamic as well.)

7. Serve!

Join the Conversation

  1. Debbie McCarthy says:

    This sounds so amazing!
    How long does it take for the chicken to reach internal temperature of 165 ?

    1. Michele Author says:

      Grazie, Debbie! It depends on the size and thickness of the thighs….usually around 30 minutes.

  2. Now this is my kind of chicken dish. If you ask me anchovies make everything taste better. Well, maybe not dessert… 😉

    1. Michele Author says:

      Couldn’t agree more Frank!! Anchovies = happiness

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