Braised chicken arrabbiata with creamy celery-root mash

Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free

2 Servings, 620 Calories/Serving, 40 - 50 Minutes

Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian, but there’s nothing unfriendly about this warming dish; the word refers to the (optional) spicy kick to the simple tomato sauce. If you’ve never tried celery root before, let us convert you. Cousin to celery, it’s creamy like potatoes when mashed. To peel it, treat it like you might a grapefruit or pineapple: cut off the ends to give yourself a sturdy base, then follow its contours to slice off the peel in strips.


  • 1¼ pounds celery root
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Fresh oregano
  • 10 ounces chicken thigh pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar



Prep and cook the celery root

  • Set the celery root on its rounded side; using a sharp knife, trim off the top and bottom. Set it upright on a cut side, then follow the contours of the root to cut away the peel in strips. Cut the white flesh into quarters, then cut the quarters into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  • Peel and coarsely chop the onion.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 2 teaspoons.
In a small pot over medium heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the celery root, half the onion, and half the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup water, cover, and simmer until the celery root is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender; puree until smooth (or coarsely mash in a bowl). Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.
While the celery root simmers, start the chicken.


Prep the chicken ingredients; brown the chicken

  • Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper; cut the pepper into 1-inch squares.
  • Strip the oregano leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.


Finish the chicken

Add the bell pepper and remaining onion and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and as much of the chile flakes as you like; cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and oregano. Return the chicken to the pan along with any juices that accumulate on the plate. Add ¾ cup water; bring to a boil, reduce to a vigorous simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and stir in the vinegar.



Spoon the celery root mash onto individual plates. Top with the chicken arrabbiata and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 620, Protein: 33 g, Total Fat: 33 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 95 mg, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 11 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 730 mg

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