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Violet Oon’s Recipe: Chicken Arrabbiata with Penne

Recipes and tips from local chef Violet Oon!

#104_food_violetoonA little-known secret in Italian cooking is the use of chillies. The Arrabbiata Sauce is a simple recipe that gets its distinctive Italian flavour from the combination of garlic and olive oil but gets its kick from sliced chillies.

Use frozen boneless, skinless chicken tenders, pre-cut and easily available in supermarkets, for a wonderful contrast of texture.






  • 230g Frozen chicken breast (1 whole breast)
  • ¼ tsp Fine salt
  • 30g Plain flour
  • 1 whole Egg, beaten
  • 50g Breadcrumbs
  • 5 to 6 tbsp Vegetable oil

For Penne Arrabbiata

  • 1tsp Roughly chopped garlic
  • 5 whole cloves Garlic
  • 200g Large onions
  • 3 large Red chillies, sliced
  • 500g Whole canned tomatoes
  • ½ to 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning (dried herbs)
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil 200g Uncooked Penne or any other dried pasta
  • 1 large pot Water


1. Defrost frozen chicken breast in chiller for 2 to 3 hours until the chicken has softened a little. Cut into 4 long pieces, wash and pat dry.

2. Rub salt over the chicken, dip each piece of chicken into flour, and then add in the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Keep aside. (Pic 1)

Pic 1
Pic 1

3. Now make the Arrabbiata Sauce. Peel the whole garlic and smash each clove with the back of a knife. Peel and slice the onions, and red chillies into circles.

4. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok or frying pan and, when hot, add the chillies, stir fry for around 1 to 2 min until lightly crisp. Remove chillies with a slotted spoon.

5. Add whole garlic to the olive oil and stir fry until lightly browned, and then add the chopped garlic and stir fry well until cooked. Add the sliced onions, stir fry until limp and then add whole tomatoes from the can, keeping the tomato juice aside.

6. Add Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper, and simmer for 15 min before adding the canned tomato juice. Bring to boil. Add pre-fried chillies and simmer for 10 min until sauce is a little thick and the olive oil has seeped out. Turn off heat, and keep aside.

7. Boil a large pot of water, add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, put in the pasta and continue to boil. When cooked, drain and toss in the Arrabbiata Sauce.

8. For the chicken, heat the oil in a flat-bottomed frying pan. When hot, shallow-fry the chicken on one side on medium-high heat until brown. Turn over and fry the other side until brown. It takes about 3 to 4 min each side. Keep the oil hot to keep the breadcrumbs intact. Drain on paper towels. (Pic 2 & 3)

Pic 2
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 3


9. Divide the Penne with Arrabbiata Sauce into 2 pasta plates, top each plate with 2 pieces of Fried Chicken, and serve.


Food Safety Tips

  • Place thawed-out meat in the refrigerator if not cooked immediately.
  • For frozen meat, thaw only the amount you need.
  • Do not refreeze meat that has been completely thawed.

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Stretch your grocery dollar by choosing frozen meat! Frozen meat comes from fresh meat, which has been rapidly frozen to maintain its freshness.

When properly handled, frozen meat tastes just as good as chilled meat.