Chicken with Anchovies

Do not let the anchovies in this dish scare you away!! This is an incredibly flavorful way to prepare chicken thighs – a recipe handed down from my father’s side of the family that lived in Roseta, PA – an Italian immigrant enclave well-studied in the 50’s for its incredibly low incidence of heart disease. (Maybe it was the chicken with anchovies that contributed!) My dad’s sister, Mary and her family make this recipe each and every Palm Sunday and is a delicious and easy way to prepare for a crowd.  The anchovies melt away into the chicken and mingle with the flavors of balsamic and capers to create a mouth-watering bath for the chicken thighs.  I made this last eve for special company and served with simple roasted cauliflower and potatoes. Be sure to serve bread to sop up every last drop of the juice! Delicious!

Chicken with Anchovies


2 tablespoons olive oil

About 2 pounds of chicken thighs (I skin mine prior to using)

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1 flat of anchovies, chopped

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

10-15 small capers (rinsed if packed in salt; drained if packed in vinegar)

1/2 cup of white wine (can substitute water or chicken broth)

Water, as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


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

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

3. Remove chicken thighs to plate. Add garlic to oil and saute until golden.

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

5. Add balsamic vinegar, capers and wine. Stir to combine.

6. Add chicken thighs back into pot and let simmer, uncovered,  until chicken is tender and falls from bone. I let mine simmer for a few hours.  Turn chicken occasionally.

7. Add water (or wine) as needed to keep chicken simmering.

8. Serve and enjoy!!


Join the Conversation

  1. I am not scared! I have some anchovies in my pantry and in the fridge a tube of the stuff! Great dish and easy to fix, thanks for the idea!

    1. Tube of anchovies, that’s totally new to me , your website looks delightful by the way !

  2. I love anchovies. This sounds delicious.

  3. Normally I would have been scared but since you told me not to I will definitely try this dish!

  4. how much is ‘a flat’ of anchovies? I’m in the UK………is it one fillet or more?

    1. Ciao ciao! Great information – assumed anchovies in flats were easy to find the world over :o). A flat here in the US is 2 oz – usually about 6-7 anchovies.

  5. What’s best to accompany this?

    1. Michele Author says:

      It is great with simple roasted potatoes and crisp green salad dressed in a lemon vinaigrette!!

  6. And you only have this delightful chicken on Palm Sunday? I love anchovies. Will try this recipe soon. Thanks.

    1. Thanks!! Traditions die hard… Let us know how it turns out for you!! Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Italian Table © Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.