Chicken, Basil and Mozzarella Arrabiata

Chicken, Basil and Mozzarella Arrabiata

Chicken, Pasta | January 4, 2015 | By

Arrabiata is Italian for “angry”. Nothing like some midweek angry chicken right? This is a simple but intense dish. The recipe uses poached chicken but of course if you prefer to fry or bake it, that will work too. This will also work well with yesterday’s leftover chicken. 


Chicken, Basil and Mozzarella Arrabiata
Serves 2
Succulent poached chicken in an arrabiata sauce with mozzarella and basil.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
For the sauce
  1. 1 tin of chopped tomato
  2. 1 small tin of tomato puree
  3. Handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
  4. Half an onion
  5. 3 cloves of garlic
  6. 1 fresh chopped chilli (or 1 tsp of chilli paste or flakes)
  7. Handful of fresh basil (or 2tbsp dried basil)
  8. Mini mozzarella balls or a ball of mozzarella chopped
  9. Olive oil
  10. Glug of red wine (optional)
For the chicken
  1. 2 chicken fillets
  2. 3 bay leaves
  3. 1 clove of garlic
  4. Squirt of lemon juice
To serve
  1. Pasta (fresh is the best but any type will do)
  2. Garlic bread
  3. Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  4. OPTIONAL- Red wine, sugar, cherry tomatoes,
To Prepare
  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add some sea salt, cracked black pepper, a peeled whole clove of garlic and the lemon juice and bay leaves. Turn down to a medium heat.
  2. Boil another pan of water with sea salt for the pasta.
  3. Finely chop the garlic, onion and chilli.
Poaching the chicken
  1. Place the chicken fillets in the flavoured water and turn to a low heat (about 2 on the hob). Cook at that temperature with the lid on for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to stand with the lid on for 15 more minutes.
Making the sauce
  1. While the chicken is cooking, fry the garlic and onion in the olive oil over a medium high heat until soft. Add the chilli and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix well, then season and add the basil. Add the red wine at this stage also if using. Bring to the boil then turn the heat to low. Once the chicken is ready tear it into shreds and add to the sauce. This will be fine until the rest is ready, just stir it occasionally.
Cooking the pasta
  1. Prepare the pasta as per the instructions on the pack. This is usually about 10 - 12 minutes for regular pasta and about 5 minutes for fresh pasta. If you're also making garlic bread, put it in the oven now!
To serve
  1. Add the mozzarella to the sauce and mix well. Serve the pasta immediately with the sauce and garlic bread.
Too hot?
  1. If you underestimated the heat of the chilli then add a spoon of sugar to calm the heat. The mozzarella will also help take the edge off the sauce.
Not hot enough?
  1. Ramp up the heat by adding extra chilli and garlic.
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