This Chicken Murphy recipe is a tasty chicken dinner that blends sausage and peppers with chicken and potatoes covered in a spicy tomato sauce. Perfect to serve at family gatherings.
If you are looking for a less spicy version of Chicken Murphy, try Chicken Giambotta, a similar, milder tomato-free chicken recipe.
Authentic Chicken Murphy Recipe
Growing up in New Jersey, I was lucky to have been exposed to a variety of regional dishes. Chicken Murphy is one of those incredible dishes.
If you've never heard of it, Chicken Murphy is a popular dish served in red and white checkered tablecloth Italian restaurants throughout New Jersey, including the Jersey shore, and the most popular being the iconic Belmont Tavern in Belleville, NJ.
Despite its name, Chicken Murphy is not an Irish recipe. It is an Italian recipe, and the opinions about how this Italian chicken dish was named are widely debated.
Some say Murphy was the name of the person that invented this dish, (Murphy's chicken) others say that Murphy refers to the potatoes.
Regardless of how it was named, I'm sure that you will agree after one bite of this delicious New Jersey classic, that this is a dinner that you will be making more than once.
Some chicken murphy recipes are made without tomatoes and hot peppers, but I've been told many times this recipe for chicken murphy is the most authentic one with tomatoes and hot peppers.
You might also want to try Disco Fries, another NJ favorite!
Why This Recipe Works
- It is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time.
- It's made without flour, so it's gluten-free!
- Chicken murphy has a ton of flavor, and everyone will love this delicious recipe.
Here is What You Will Need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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- olive oil
- boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
- sweet or hot Italian sausages
- cremini or white button mushrooms
- Yellow or white onion
- green bell pepper
- red bell pepper
- diced tomatoes
- pepperoncini + brine
Equipment Needed to Make This Recipe
- Dutch oven, stainless steel or cast iron skillet.
- Chef's Knife
Here Is How To Make The Best Chicken Murphy
Get all of the ingredients ready: Cut the potatoes, onions and peppers into large pieces. Dice the garlic cloves and measure the tomatoes, pepperoncini and brine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet.
Step 1. Brown the sausage
Once the pan is hot, add the sausage and cook until it begins to brown remove it from the skillet and set it aside to cool.
Step 2. Sear the chicken
Next, brown the chicken breast meat until it begins to turn golden on the outside, and remove it from the skillet.
Step 3. Cook the aromatics
Reduce the heat to medium heat, and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes just until they begin to soften. Remove them from the skillet and set aside with the meat.
Step 4. Cook the vegetables
Cook the bell peppers until they begin to turn soft, and remove them from the heat.
Step 5. Cook the mushrooms
Place the mushrooms in the pan and cook for a few until they begin to turn soft and start to release some liquid. At this point, you can scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits.
Step 6. Brown the Potatoes
Increase the heat to medium-high and add a little more oil. Place potatoes in the pan and cook in the hot skillet until they begin to turn golden brown on the outside and remove them from the heat.
Step 7. Assemble the Murphy
By this time the chicken and sausage should be cool. Slice sausage links into thick chunks and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the sausage slices and chicken cubes back to the skillet or place them in a casserole dish.
Step 8. Add the vegetables
Top the meat in the skillet with the green pepper, red bell pepper, onions, garlic and mushrooms.
Step 9. Add tomatoes
Add the pepperoncini, diced tomatoes, and brine. Cover the pan and place it into the preheated oven and bake.
Note: This recipe takes time to make; each ingredient is quickly seared in a skillet separately. If you have a large skillet, you can saute the garlic, onions, peppers, and mushrooms together.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Chicken - Chicken murphy is typically made with boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets. Chicken tenders can also be used as well as boneless chicken thighs.
Potatoes - Any type of potato can be used to make this recipe. We like yellow potatoes, red potatoes, or baby potatoes the best for their thinner skin. If you like to peel your potatoes, you can use russets too.
Tomatoes - I like to use fresh diced tomatoes when they are in season, and when they are not, I use low-sodium canned diced tomatoes.
Some versions of Chicken Murphy are made without tomatoes. If you don't like tomatoes, you can add ½ cup of chicken broth instead.
Pepperoncini If you don't care for hot food, you can cut back on the number of pepperoncini or you can substitute pepperoncini with peppadew peppers or sweet cherry peppers.
Pepperoncini can be substituted with another type of hot pepper such as hot cherry peppers, banana peppers, or jalapeno peppers.
Sausage - Hot or mild pork, turkey, or chicken Italian sausage links can be used in this recipe.
Check out ButcherBox for humanely raised high-quality meat!
How to make Chicken Murphy in a Slow Cooker
If you are short on oven space or it's too hot to turn on the oven, you can finish chicken murphy in a slow cooker.
Here's how: Once all of the ingredients have been browned on top of the stove, add them to the slow cooker and cook at low heat for 2 hours.
Set the slow cooker to warm until it is time to serve.
Tip! To avoid potatoes that fall apart, place them on top of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours.
Chicken Murphy can easily be made ahead of time, here's how:
Brown all of the ingredients and place them into an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To Serve, bring the browned ingredients to room temperature, and place them into an oven-proof dish or slow cooker.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or slow cook for 2 hours.
Storing and Using Leftovers
Store leftover chicken murphy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in a covered oven-proof dish or on top of the stove over low heat.
Serve leftover chicken murphy in a sandwich in a crusty baguette or your favorite hard roll.
For another New Jersey favorite, try this Jersey Burger!
Low-Carb Chicken Murphy - Leave the potatoes out and ¼ pound more chicken.
Leave out the sausage - If you don't like sausage, you can leave it out and add an extra ¼ pound of chicken.
Low Sodium Chicken Murphy - replace the pepper brine with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
Shrimp Murphy - Replace the chicken with shrimp which should be sauteed in garlic and oil and added to the murphy mixture just before serving.
Pork Chops Murphy - Replace the chicken with boneless pork chops and prepare following the recipe instructions in the card.
Chicken Murphy Pasta - Serve chicken murphy over your favorite pasta. You can cut back on the number of potatoes or leave them out if you are counting carbs.
Tomato-Free Chicken Murphy - Replace the tomatoes with a cup of white wine or chicken broth.
Serve chicken murphy with a hunk of Italian bread and a salad like this Spinach Salad with Basil, steamed green beans or Green Beans and Bacon, and a loaf of crusty bread.
Chicken Murphy also tastes great served over a bed of zucchini noodles.
Tips and Questions
- Place the potatoes on top of the ingredients to avoid soggy potatoes.
- You can use whole boneless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets without cutting them into chunks to make this recipe too.
You might be thinking from its name, that this recipe is an Irish recipe. Actually, it's an Italian-inspired recipe that is rumored to have originated at the Jersey Shore or New York City. As with most stew recipes, there are several variations. Some recipes are made with brown gravy, but we prefer the tomato version.
Each ingredient is browned separately to avoid overcrowding the skillet. If your skillet is larger than 9 inches, you can brown the vegetables together in any combination that you like.
Yes, especially the tomatoes to keep the dish from becoming dry. Depending on the amount of meat added (up to a quarter-pound), you may not need to increase the vegetables.
Yes! You can leave out the brine, however, you will lose some of the tart pickle flavors.
We have also made it with half the amount of brine (⅛ cup) and the pickle flavor was mild but it was still there.
You can also add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (or more to taste) in place of the brine from the peppers.
The sauce will thicken from the starch of the potatoes,soe there is not need to dredge the chicken in flour unless you want to.
Reader's comments and suggestions
Here are comments and suggestions from people that have tried this recipe.
- "I’ve eaten this dish many times in NJ. Searched for the best recipe and yours makes the most sense and tastes like the most authentic chicken murphy recipe. Thanks!"
- "I used half cherry peppers and half pepperoncini ones... mild though lol (I'm a wimp lol). It came out absolutely fantastic!! Thanks for the recipe!
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If you like this recipe, please comment and rate it below!
Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 to 2 tablespoons [olive oil]
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders.
- ¼ pound Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage links about 2
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes cut into one-inch sized pieces
- 16 ounces cremini mushrooms stems removed and sliced
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 medium onion cut into slices
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped [pepperoncini]
- ¼ cup of brine of pepperoncini
- Prepare all of the ingredients: cut up the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Clean and slice or chop the mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Chop the garlic. Slice the pepperoncini and measure the brine.1 ½ pounds potatoes, 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, 1 clove garlic, 1 medium onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, ½ cup chopped [pepperoncini], ¼ cup of brine of pepperoncini
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium to high heat, brown the sausage links and set them aside to drain on a paper towel.¼ pound Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage links, 1 to 2 tablespoons [olive oil]
- Brown the chicken and cook for 5 to 8 minutes on each side until it begins to turn golden brown.1 pound boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet, and set it aside with the sausage.
- Next, add the onions and garlic and sautee them until they soften and start to turn golden brown, remove them from the heat and continue browning each vegetable separately. If you have a large skillet, you can double up on the veggies in the pan. Be sure to not overcrowd the skillet.1 ½ pounds potatoes, 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, 1 clove garlic, 1 medium onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green pepper
- Once all of the vegetables have been sauteed, wipe out the skillet or grab a new clean skillet.
- Cut the chicken and sausage into bite-sized pieces and add them back to the skillet, then add the sauteed veggies.
- Top the meat and vegetables with pepperoncini rings, brine, and diced tomatoes.1 cup fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, ½ cup chopped [pepperoncini], ¼ cup of brine of pepperoncini
- Cover the skillet and bake for 45 minutes.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
I’ve eaten this dish many times in NJ. Searched for the best recipe and yours makes the most sense and tastes the most authentic. Thanks!
Hi Bob, thanks for your comment! I'm glad you like it!
Lisa Clarke says
This looks delicious. Do you think it would mess with the flavor too much if I replaced the brine with water? Or do you have another suggestion? My husband is on a low salt diet, and eliminating the brine seems like the easiest way to reduce the salt content in this.
I think you will be okay if you replace the brine with water. You can also try leaving the brine out and adding 1/4 cup more of the tomatoes.
Lisa Clarke says
Great, thanks! Looking forward to making this. Chicken Murphy is one of my favorite restaurant dishes 🙂
Catherine Rohl says
I made it tonight for dinner. I didn't use the wine as I can't drink alcohol for health reasons. I used half cherry peppers and half pepperocini ones... mild though lol (I'm a wimp lol). It came out absolutely fantastic!!
Thanfor the recipe
Thanks for your comment, Cathy, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Kathleen Pope says
I would have totally guessed this dish by name to be Irish, sad Italian I am! But it came out fabulous and our family loved it!