This recipe for Chicken with Diced Tomatoes was handed down from generation to generation and all I have done is make a few minor adjustments. It has been in my family for so long that practically everyone has it memorized now. The secret is in the way you cook the chicken. That, and of course, the diced tomatoes.
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Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic
Kids like chicken fingers. I feel pretty confident saying that. They’re salty, they’re crunchy, and it’s acceptable to eat them with your hands.
Every week, I see parents in my neighborhood who wouldn’t be caught dead at McDonald’s tucking boxes of frozen organic chicken fingers into their shopping carts. My mother, who raised us almost entirely on homemade meals from scratch, made killer baked chicken fingers crusted with herbed breadcrumbs–and my sister and I always requested them for our birthday parties.
We have yet to give Clara chicken fingers (you can be sure that when we do I’ll ask my mother for her recipe), but we’ve found a reasonable substitute. She didn’t show much interest in chicken until I did two things: braised it with tomatoes (a magic ingredient that makes all other foods more desirable), and let her eat it off the bone. Now chicken is one of her favorite foods.
These days, I make a big batch of chicken thighs braised in tomatoes and garlic every week. We put on Clara’s smock/bib and give her a thigh, and she gnaws at the meat like a little terrier until the bone is scraped clean. Once she’s in bed, we enjoy shallow bowls of braised chicken thighs with tomatoey garlicky juices over orzo.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic
- PREP TIME 5 minutes
- COOK TIME 1 hour
- SERVES 4
Ingredients send a grocery list
- 8 chicken thighs on the bone, skin-on
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 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
- Pat the chicken thighs dry. Season them liberally on all sides with salt. Heat the olive oil in a 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Return the chicken to the sauce and heat through before serving over orzo or rice.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Garlic
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8 pieces of chicken thighs, or legs or both
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup red wine
1 (28 ounces) can of Tuttorosso® Diced Tomatoes
1 (28 ounces) can Tuttorosso® Peeled Plum Tomatoes
3 tablespoons Tuttorosso® Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh herbs of choice, basil, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, chopped
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
Pasta of choice, or rice for serving, cooked and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400o F. Salt and pepper chicken thighs. Heat an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter. When the mixture is hot add the chicken. Brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
- Pour wine into skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen bits; cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, peeled plum tomatoes, and tomato paste; stir to combine. Bring sauce to a boil; then turn off the heat. Add nutmeg, fresh herbs of choice, garlic cloves, onion, and chicken. Put the lid on the skillet and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit on the counter with lid on while you prepare pasta. Place prepared pasta into a large serving bowl.
- Remove lid and check sauce. If the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken from the pot and boil the sauce for 5 or 10 minutes so it will thicken.
- To serve, pour sauce over pasta, then arrange chicken over the top. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with crusty Italian bread.
GARLIC TOMATO BAKED CHICKEN
Garlic Tomato Baked Chicken is a delicious chicken recipe that makes a great weeknight dinner or an easy meal for entertaining! Baked chicken in garlic butter with an Italian tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese!
You know that I am all about EASY dinners! Everyone is busy these days, so whether it is a weeknight meal you need to get on the table for the whole family or if you are entertaining—I want it to be easy. Easy doesn’t take away from the flavor, though—that is for sure!
It doesn’t get much easier than this garlic tomato-baked chicken. A few staple ingredients come together along with my favorite Cache Valley® Whole Milk Mozzarella, making for a delicious and super simple dinner that is fancy enough for entertaining and easy enough for weeknights.
Have you tried Cache Valley® Creamery yet? This summer, I used their sliced cheese to make this Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger and it quickly became a favorite. You need to run to Safeway to pick some up because it will make all the difference in your recipes.
Not only do the mozzarella shreds melt perfectly on this baked chicken, but it is also a good source of protein and calcium! Cache Valley® Creamery is relatively new to the Denver area. It is a Utah-based company that is dedicated to communities and families, which makes me feel really good about buying and supporting them.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED CHICKEN
- Season the chicken. You always want to start by seasoning your chicken with salt and pepper. Chicken doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so give it a little help and season first!
- Canned tomatoes make this recipe super quick and easy, as well as perfect to make all year round!
- Garlic butter is part of what makes this recipe special! I like to melt the butter and sauté the garlic on the stovetop before pouring it over top the chicken. This makes sure the butter gets a nice garlic flavor that goes all over the chicken and tomatoes.
- Next, you bake. How long you bake depends on how thick your pieces of chicken are. I like to use chicken tenders or chicken cutlets so they cook quickly.
- After the chicken is cooked, it is time to top with cheese! Cache Valley® Whole Milk Mozzarella melts perfectly and makes this chicken extra tasty. Place under the broiler so it gets nice and golden.
- Once it comes out of the oven, I like to sprinkle it with just a little bit of Italian seasoning to give it just a little more flavor. This step is completely optional.
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HOW LONG DO YOU BAKE CHICKEN BREASTS?
Cooking time for chicken breasts varies a lot based on how thick your chicken is and how hot your oven is. I like to bake at 400°F degrees because I think it locks in the juices and leads to a juicer and tender piece of chicken. The average chicken breasts take around 25-30 minutes. If you are using chicken cutlets or chicken tenders, it is closer to 15-20 minutes.
You know your chicken is done when the juices run clear and it is no longer pink in the middle. The best way to know if your chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. You want to cook the chicken to 165°F degrees for perfectly cooked chicken.
The nice thing about this baked chicken is how little work it takes. You can season the chicken and place it in the pan with the tomatoes ahead of time. Then, just melt the butter and garlic together when it is time to bake it. I love easy recipes like this when entertaining, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen and miss out on time with my guests.
The butter and tomatoes together make a great sauce for the chicken. You can serve it with rice, pasta, or even just bread so you don’t miss out on any of the sauce!
Make sure you head to Safeway to pick up Cache Valley® Whole Milk Mozzarella and check out their other varieties as well. Up your pizza night game, make better-grilled cheese sandwiches, and even make your game day dips better with their wholesome and delicious cheese!
Whether you are trying to get dinner on the table on a busy weeknight or you are having friends and family over for dinner, this garlic tomato-baked chicken is going to be a huge hit. All it takes is 5 ingredients and a few minutes until you have a delicious chicken dinner. Can’t get much easier than that!