Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic

By • February 18, 2013 37 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. Pat the chicken thighs 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.

More Great Recipes: Chicken Thighs|Chicken|Entrees|Tomatoes|Olive Oil

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Comments (37) Questions (1)


3 months ago Rafael Encarnacion

What a gem. This was a good recipe.


4 months ago fang2mp

I made this tonight. It was picky-toddler approved so I consider this a keeper. Thanks for sharing.


5 months ago myob

I would like to make this a day ahead. What would be the best method for reheating?


5 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'd put it in a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through.


7 months ago Nathalie Savoie

if I use drumsticks, how long should it cook?


8 months 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.


8 months 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!


8 months 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.


8 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great additions! I'm feeling inspired...


8 months 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.


over 1 year 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!


over 1 year ago Jennifer Walaitis Johnson



over 1 year ago Kgiersch

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


over 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


over 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!


over 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.


over 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.


almost 2 years 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.


almost 2 years 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.


about 2 years 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.


about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you like it!


over 2 years ago sonomagal

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


over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

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


over 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!


over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Clara does that too! So glad you liked it.