Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic

By • February 18, 2013 • 33 Comments

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Author Notes: I've taken to making this once a week -- fragrant and comforting, it's great with orzo or rice to sop up the sauce.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 4

  • 8 chicken thighs on the bone, skin-on
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 20 ounces canned chopped tomatoes (I prefer tetra-pack)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Orzo or rice for serving
  1. Rinse the chicken thighs and pat them dry. Season them liberally on all sides with salt. Heat the olive oil in large, heavy sauté pan with high sides over medium heat. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides in two batches, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Pour off all but about a tablespoon of fat in the pan.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until you can smell it, about a minute. (Don't let it burn.) Add the canned tomatoes, chicken stock and a large pinch of salt, and turn the heat up until the liquid comes to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as they loosen. Add the thyme and then nestle the chicken thighs, skin-side-up in the sauce.
  3. Partially cover the pan and turn down the heat so that the sauce is simmering gently. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
  4. If the sauce is thin, transfer the chicken to a clean plate and keep warm while you turn up the heat for a few minutes so that the sauce simmers and thickens a bit. Don't let it cook down too much -- you want this to be pretty saucy.
  5. Return the chicken to the sauce and heat through before serving over orzo or rice.
Jump to Comments (33)

Tags: chicken, chicken thighs, cooking for clara, garlic, make ahead, tomatoes

Comments (33) Questions (1)

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about 1 month ago Nathalie Savoie

if I use drumsticks, how long should it cook?

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about 1 month ago Tim Lang

Made this with white wine to deglaze, a few green olives, some lemon juice, fennel seeds, dried thyme, potatoes, carrots, and a halved onion. My wife and I just finished the second half that's sat in the fridge overnight and our minds are both completely blown at how we've just eaten the best thing we've ever cooked for ourselves. Added to the family recipe book. Cannot thank you enough and thanks to everyone that commented adding in their own ingredients.

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about 1 month ago Dan Verel

I have a version that is very similar. I start with onion and garlic, add the tomatoes and add chopped up mushrooms, crushed red pepper, fresh oregano, basil and thyme. Also, a dash of lemon zest really brightens it up. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll add some fresh mozzarella on the chicken and cover it with sauce. Serve it with pasta or polenta!

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about 1 month ago Laura Werts

Yum! I added capers, kalamata olives and red pepper flakes, and served it over rigatoni. I love braised chicken dishes for weeknight meals. I'll make this again.

Merrill

about 1 month ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great additions! I'm feeling inspired...

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about 1 month ago pamseif

I wish you had the ability to print some of the comments with the recipe. There are some really good ideas in the comments that I would like to remember when I make the recipe.

Stringio

11 months ago TriXa Garcia

This dish is so easy to make, I added potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers to make it more hearty. Loads of garlic, parsley and oregano!

Stringio

11 months ago Jennifer Walaitis Johnson

Delicious!

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12 months ago Kgiersch

Simple, easy and delicious. I used boneless, skinless thighs, added olives while simmering and served with spaghetti.

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about 1 year ago Vg

Delicious! Reminds me of a dish I grew up eating "pollo guisado" my mom used bay leaves, Spanish onions and plain white rice. So glad I found this recipe- brought me back 20+ yrs to my native Guatemala

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about 1 year ago JohnZ

Love this dish. One of my go-to dishes is chicken cacciatore so this is right up my alley. I made this tonight but added some of the other things I had around that were threatening to expire. Thanks!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Tina Miller

This recipe was a fabulous find! Delicious and so easy - I've been making it weekly! Love it with brown rice and a side a of steamed broccoli,keeps the whole family happy.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Sietske van Schaik

Very similar to a recipe we learned long ago from a family from the Antilles. Their version uses also LOTS of garlic, but adds onions, bell pepper and a little red pepper flake or sambal as well as the stewed tomatoes and stock.

Wonderful with rice.

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

Made this yesterday -- so simple and good. I added some fennel seed and Aleppo pepper with the garlic, and also threw in a halved onion and some butter (a la Marcella sauce) before simmering. Delicious.

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over 1 year ago hb

This simple dish is very comforting and super easy to make during the week. I try to make this as often as I can get away with.

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over 1 year ago CondimentQueen

I am loving this dish! I have made it several times and definitely add a splash of white wine and a little extra garlic. I am going to try it tonight with the 'skin down, cold skillet' method. Thanks Pat in SoCal for the idea.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you like it!

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almost 2 years ago sonomagal

How about a little wine in the recipe. White, I think I would use.

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, I often add a splash of white. Rose works nicely, too.

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almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

This was SO GOOD. We used a whole head of garlic, and much more thyme than the recipe called for. We also added parsley and butter to the orzo and ate it with roasted asparagus spears. My 1 year old daughter loved it and even spat out her mouthful of chicken in anticipation for the thigh bone my husband handed to her. Silly girl!

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Clara does that too! So glad you liked it.

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almost 2 years ago windysiprits

Can't wait to make this tonight in my new Staub pot my Mother-in-law gave me! I am going to add green olives to the dish to give it another twist and serve it over a bed of creamy polenta. Should be awesome, thank you for the recipe!

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

These sound like great variations!

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almost 2 years ago Pat in SoCal

This works great with the "skin down in a cold, dry skillet" start...rendering out the fat from the skin instead of EVOO. Pushed the thighs aside (one less plate to wash) to saute an abundance of garlic and then added a bunch of defrosted tomatoes from last summer's bounty and thyme from the garden. Nestled in the thighs and kept the skin high, dry, and crispy. Did not cover for this same reason. Cooked the tomatos down over medium heat to a saucy texture...salt and a few chili flakes and we're done! Very yummy, fast, and easy. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

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almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

So true. I put barely any oil in the pan at the start and by the end I had a cup of rendered chicken fat!

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I've been using your method for a couple of weeks now and I'm a big fan -- thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago foodieinthemaking

I just made this today and it is sooo good!!! I thickened the sauce a bit and upped the anti with the garlic and thyme. Definitely going in my regular weekday repertoire.

Stringio

about 2 years ago adele93

how did you thicken the sauce? and when you say you increased garlic and thyme, did you double it?

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about 2 years ago foodieinthemaking

I think I did double. I love garlic and used about 6 cloves for half a batch but to be fair on the thyme, I just threw the bundle in without chopping or tearing so it wasn't too strong. Not sure if that's what merill intended for us to do. And the thickening was just me forgetting it on the stove while I had to attend to a screaming baby and it reduced probably more than it should but still super yummy. The dish would be super yummy if you followed it to the letter too. It's a great recipe.