Italian Chicken One-Pan Wonder

It’s 26 December and my Christmas spirit has turned to holiday laziness. There’s but one thing to do – make a delicious, homey, feel-good meal with minimal effort.

This chicken one-pan wonder is my ultimate go-to lazy day dish, but I often mix it up with my vegetable selection and choice of spices.

Who’s hungry? Vincent and I. However this recipe takes into account that it tastes even better the next day, so I’m making enough for ample leftovers.


  • 1 kg chicken pieces (8 drumsticks & 4 thighs)
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 250 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 1 Knorr chicken stock pot
  • 200ml coconut oil
  • 100g tomato paste
  • 2 cans Italian whole tomatoes
  • Thyme
  • Mixed herbs
  • Turmeric
  • Chicken spice (Robertsons)
  • Roast chicken spice (Woolworths)
  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • Salt and pepper

Let’s get spicy!

Lay the chicken pieces flat in a casserole. Spice them with equal parts chicken spice, turmeric, thyme and mixed herbs; then add salt and pepper too. Coat each piece thoroughly.

Rub the spice mixture into the pieces with your hands, making sure both sides get covered.

Pour some coconut oil onto the chicken and spice them once more. Repeat the hand mixing process to ensure sufficient coverage.

Most of the hard work is behind you, so it’s time to pour the wine. Tonight I’m having Boland Cellar Sixty-40, which is a Cab Sauv Shiraz blend.

Let’s cook!

Fry the onions and garlic in some coconut oil and sprinkle thyme over it. Fry until the onions are translucent.

Add the chicken to the pan and brown the chicken pieces on either side. Add more coconut oil as required, depending how sticky your pan gets.

Add the mushrooms and green peppers to the pan.

Stir everything carefully so the spice mixture covers the vegetables too.

Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, stock pot, salt and pepper to the chicken.

Stir everything carefully so it all combines well.

Put the lid on and turn the pan to very low heat. Our electric frying pan was on 1 and 2 periodically throughout the cooking process.

This dish will cook for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the pan’s heat and your hunger level. The longer it cooks on low heat, the more tender the meat will be. Every 20 minutes, stir everything very carefully so as not to separate the meat from the bones too much.

Let’s make rice!

Put a pot filled with 500ml water in the stove on high heat. Chuck the rice in there when the water boils.

Boil for 25 minutes then strain and set aside until the chicken is ready.

Let’s finish up that chicken!

15 minutes before serving, remove the lid so the sauce can thicken.

Add the spinach to the dish.

Serve when the spinach has wilted completely.

Add a final few turns of the pepper mill just before dishing up.

Let’s eat!

Plop some rice on a plate and get that delicious slow cooked chicken and its sexy sauce on top.

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