Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Bocconcini

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
This delicious tomato, chicken and cheese one-pan dinner is delicious served with a side salad or served along with some cooked pasta.


  • 3 lbs. bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts or thighs, legs or drumsticks or combination
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 oz. pancetta diced
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 large sprig of basil plus more chopped basil for serving
  • 8 oz. bocconcini halved (or use mozzarella cut into 3/4-inch pieces)


  • Heat oven to 400° F. Pat chicken dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Remove pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Add chicken to skillet. Sear, turning only occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of the oil.
  • Add garlic, anchovy (if using) and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Cook, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon, until sauce thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes.
  • Return chicken to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes for thighs/drumsticks and up to 45 minutes for large breasts/legs.
  • (*Note: if using large chicken breasts, you may want to remove them from the pan before broiling. As they sit quite high up in the pan, they are likely to burn on top before the bocconcini are browned/melted.)
  • Scatter bocconcini (or mozzarella) and pancetta pieces over skillet. Adjust oven to broil. Return skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to see that it does not burn). Garnish with chopped basil before serving.


Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!