Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic

February 18, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Food52 Review: This recipe is featured in the story, 14 Cozy, Tomatoey Braises to Warm Your Stove Now Through March, sponsored by Muir Glen.The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


  • 8 chicken thighs on the bone, skin-on
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 20 ounces canned Muir Glen chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Orzo or rice for serving
In This Recipe


  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:
American|Chicken|Garlic|Orzo|Thyme|Tomato|Chicken Thigh|Braise|One-Pot Wonders|Make Ahead|Fall|Valentine's Day

Reviews (52) Questions (2)

52 Reviews

Granna August 23, 2018
Beyond delicious and very manageable to prepare and cook. Packed with flavor!
Fred H. May 26, 2018
So simple, but bursting with flavors. I over did it with the salt (which says a lot for me), but it was still unbelievable. I considered adding capers. I'm glad I didn't. This is definitely one of my weekly go toos.
Illye March 13, 2018
I love this recipe. It is very easy but amazingly tasty. I make it for whole family including my kids(3 and 5 years old). I add sliced olives and roasted zucchini cubes(pan roast with oil, pepper and salt) and serve either over rice or short pasta. I am gonna make it tomorrow. :)
Charlotte S. January 24, 2018
A simple and delectable dish. We served this with sautéed broccoli with garlic. Perfect!
CondimentQueen January 26, 2018
Isn't this just the best? I have made it with more garlic, less garlic, white wine, broth, no broth and served it over everything from mashed potatoes to Israeli couscous. It is my go to comfort food and there is some in the refrigerator right now! :)
Mike March 12, 2017
Instead of serving this over rice I like to use the chicken to make tacos --> heat up some corn tortillas over the stove, massaged some chopped kale in olive oil, cut up the chicken into nice bite sized chunks then add some of the saucy tomatoes​, shredded parmesan and a little cracked pepp on top. Immediately following, drop the mic, cause you'll need both hands free to high five all your dinner guests.
Patti December 29, 2016
Easy chicken recipe that tasted good - garlic helps a lot and I added a bit of crushed red pepper flakes and served with penne and broccoli - good on a cold evening
Elizabeth N. April 12, 2016
I make this a few times a month, served over short grain brown rice or brown rice pasta(gluten free) I love using fire roasted tomato's and will add frozen green beans in while simmering and have a two pot meal!<br />
Tasha D. April 9, 2016
Really good, I didn't have chicken stock, but, still good over rice. Will make it again.
Freebird February 9, 2016
Great weeknight meal! I used fire roasted tomatoes (tetra pak), added some good olives towards the end of cooking and served it over rice. Simple and delicious-thanks!
juliunruly December 21, 2015
Really like this, although I made several additions. White wine to deglaze like TIm Lang, crushed red pepper, meyer lemon zest, halved castelvetrano olives, quartered cippolini oinions, and some salted butter. The lemon zest didn't come through at all, so maybe I'll try a bit of juice next time. I didn't add any salt beyond what I put directly on the meat, and what was in the butter.
juliunruly December 21, 2015
Also skipped the rice and orzo, and just had crusty bread to sop things up.
Cary November 15, 2015
So delicious. Thank you, Merrill!
Gillian September 21, 2015
Hi, I am from the UK, can you let me know what is the different between chicken stock and chicken broth - or is there, a difference that is? Thanks.
Author Comment
Merrill S. September 23, 2015
The differences are subtle, especially when you're talking about store bought products. For this, you can use either stock or broth, with as little sodium as possible.
Rafael E. June 13, 2015
What a gem. This was a good recipe.
fang2mp April 21, 2015
I made this tonight. It was picky-toddler approved so I consider this a keeper. Thanks for sharing.
myob March 31, 2015
I would like to make this a day ahead. What would be the best method for reheating?
Author Comment
Merrill S. March 31, 2015
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.
Nathalie S. January 20, 2015
if I use drumsticks, how long should it cook?
Tim L. January 9, 2015
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.
Dan V. January 9, 2015
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!
Laura W. January 8, 2015
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.
Author Comment
Merrill S. January 8, 2015
Great additions! I'm feeling inspired...
pamseif January 4, 2015
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.