This Roman-style chicken dish is a savory and aromatic combination of flavors that captures the essence of Roman cuisine. Tender chicken breast is cooked in a delicious tomato-based and herb-infused sauce, then served with capers.
We love serving this delicious pollo alla romana (roman chicken) with crusty bread and a fresh salad! For more delicious chicken dinners, try my Buffalo Chicken Pasta, Chicken Pot Pie Noodles, or my Dijon Chicken.
Why This Recipe Works
- Herb-infused chicken. This Italian chicken dish is made by cooking chicken in a delicious tomato-based sauce infused with fresh herbs.
- Easy chicken skillet. This is a one-pot dinner! It’s easy to make and only dirties one pan — win win.
- Flavorful Italian chicken. I love this roman chicken because there are so many delicious flavors! The capers, bell peppers, prosciutto and herbs create the most amazing dinner.
- Chicken: You can use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins. You will want to use raw, uncooked chicken since cooking the chicken in the roman sauce makes all the difference!
- Bell Peppers: Feel free to use whatever color peppers you have on hand. You can use orange bell pepper, red peppers, yellow peppers, or green bell pepper.
- Prosciutto: You can use the thin prosciutto, but I like ones that are a bit thicker.
- Diced Tomatoes: Don’t drain the can! We want those tomato juices in there.
- Chicken Broth: I like to use better than bouillon paste to make chicken stock.
- Fresh Herbs: The sauce is cooked with fresh thyme and fresh oregano, then served with fresh parsley. If you don’t have fresh, that’s OK just substitute for dried.
- Capers: The capers provide a nice salty element to this Roman chicken dish.
- Cook the chicken. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the chicken. Cook until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add peppers and prosciutto. Add the sliced red and yellow bell peppers and the chopped prosciutto. Cook until the prosciutto is browned and crisp (about 5 minutes). Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Make the Roman chicken sauce. Add the can diced tomatoes (undrained), 1 cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 1 tablespoon fresh oregano. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add chicken and cook. Add the chicken and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes).
- Add capers, then serve! Once cooked through, add 2 tablespoons capers and 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Enjoy!
You don’t have to use chicken breasts. You can use chicken thighs (for extra moist chicken… I love chicken thighs), chicken breasts with bone-in (I would use skinless though), or even chicken tenders. Note: if you use chicken tenders you won’t need to simmer for nearly as long.
When browning the chicken in the skillet, allow it to develop a golden-brown crust. This adds flavor and texture to the dish. Make sure not to overcrowd the skillet, as this can hinder proper browning.
I highly recommend you use prosciutto but in the event you don’t have it, you can try substituting bacon. Just note: the flavors will be different, but still good.
Deglazing the pan: After sautéing the peppers and prosciutto, deglaze the pan with the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet adds depth of flavor to the sauce.
Simmer chicken for tender texture: When the chicken is returned to the skillet, ensure that it’s fully immersed in the sauce. Cover the skillet and let the chicken simmer over low heat. This slow cooking method helps tenderize the chicken and allows the flavors to meld together.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Once ready to serve, reheat the chicken to a simmer; stir in the capers and parsley then serve.
Store leftover Roman chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To freeze, let the Roman chicken cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw, then reheat in a skillet or in the oven.
Yes, you can use bone-in chicken pieces like thighs or drumsticks. Just be mindful of adjusting the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken cooks through.
If you don’t have prosciutto, you can use bacon or pancetta as a substitute. These cured meats will still contribute a savory flavor to the dish.
Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes. Simply blanch, peel, and dice the tomatoes before adding them to the skillet. Keep in mind that canned tomatoes tend to have a more concentrated flavor.
Yes, you can use dried herbs. I would use 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano.
More Chicken Recipes
- Curry Chicken and Rice
- Avocado Chicken Wraps
- Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
- Italian Grilled Chicken
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- salt & pepper to season the chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper - sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper - sliced
- 3 oz prosciutto - chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic - minced
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley - chopped
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is shimmering add the chicken to the skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the peppers and prosciutto to the now empty skillet. Cook until browned and the prosciutto is crisp about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with the juices), chicken broth, and the fresh herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken back to the skillet, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once cooked through, add the capers and parsley, stir to combine. Serve.