Puttanesca Chicken Thighs over Mashed Potatoes


I was in the mood for a little something spicy and delicious. So I made this sauce that’s very quick- my interpretation of Puttanesca. It’s a meal that can be made mostly from items from your pantry and freezer and it can be ready in just over 45 minutes – making it great for a cold winter weeknight dinner.  

I served this one over garlic-mashed potatoes because well- that’s what I was in the mood to eat- even though Rick usually serves his version over a nice creamy polenta.  Somehow the potatoes were lighter feeling.

Chicken Thighs in a Puttanesca Sauce

  • 6 chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1 and 1/2 medium white onions, sliced thinly into rings
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2  14ounce cans diced plum tomatoes
  • 1  14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 two ounce jar of anchovies, rinsed drained and minced finely
  • 1 cup pitted Nicoise olives
  • 1 cup pitted and chopped Picholine olives
  • small can of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup capers in brine, drained
  • 4 Tablespoons Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Pesto
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Rinse and dry the chicken. Heat the oil in a large, deep heavy bottomed skillet or saucepan. Brown the chicken well on all sides and remove to a plate. Keep chicken warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce. Add the sliced onions to the pan you browned the chicken in and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until soft- don’t let it burn. Add the tomato sauce and then the anchovies, olives, mushrooms, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and pesto. Cook for a few minutes and then add the Balsamic vinegar. Add the chicken back to the pan- submerging in the sauce and cook, covered for about 40-45 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. The chicken will be tender and the sauce flavourful. Serve over polenta or potatoes as below.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes- silly I know but just in case you don’t know

  • 4 large starchy potatoes (such as Russets), peeled and cubed into 1″ cubes
  • water to cover
  • large pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • about 6 Tablespoons butter
  • about 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes, rinse, cube and place in a medium saucepan add the garlic and cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until fairly easily pierced with a fork. Drain the water and return the potatoes in the pan to the turned off burner that is still warm. Let the moisture evaporate for a minute and then mash the potatoes with a masher before adding anything. Then add a couple of Tablespoons of butter and mash that in. This will coat the starch with a little fat and prevent you from making them into glue. Heat the milk or half and half before adding any to the potatoes. Add a little at a time, using only what you need to make the consistency you prefer. Add a little more butter and salt and pepper. The garlic will mash in with the potatoes and give a nice garlic flavour.



  1. Gabi says:

    Courtney- Thanks! It did go well together. mmm.

    Deborah- Hope you do try it and like it!

    Maryann- Thank you Bella!

    Bellini Valli- I’m the same way often ordering based on the sides or just ordering a salad and a side of mashed potatoes- I’m an addict 🙂

  2. Bellini Valli says:

    Woo Hoo…this dish is right up my alley. Look at all that wonderful flavour on one plate. I order garlic mashed potatoes as a side dish at restaurants so that is an added bonus 😀

  3. Maryann says:

    Hi Gabi,
    Wow! Lots of flavors going on here! I bet the mashed potatoes go perfectly well 🙂

  4. Deborah says:

    I think this sounds amazing with the mashed potatoes. I have really started to use chicken thighs a lot lately, and this is a perfect way to use them!

  5. Courtney says:

    I like the way ouy served it over mashed potatos. A nice variation from pasta.

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