Don’t you just hate it when you have this grand plan for dinner, only to realize all you have is chicken and onions? Well, that was me last night. Does this mean that I’ll get off my butt to go grocery shopping? Nope. I see it as a challenge: What kind of meal can I create as my fridge’s contents continue to dwindle? So I got creative, found some inspiration, and improvised. I also realize that this recipe sounds similar to the one I posted about awhile ago, but I assure you the flavours are entirely different. It’s sweet and spicy, and highly aromatic because of the ground cumin. It also has this warmth about it. Maybe because it’s a little stew-y.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato (Serves 2)
Adapted from Alexandra Guarnaschelli from Food Network
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 chicken thighs
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili flakes (less if you don’t like spice)
1/2 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and grated
1 (14 oz.) can of whole plum tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
water, as needed
- Heat oil in a dutch oven (or a braiser pan, deep frying pan, whatever) over high heat. Meanwhile, season both side of chicken thighs with salt, to taste. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). Also, be careful! I ended up with oil splattered all over my arms and nerdy glasses. Not cool (get it? ha!). Anyways, remove the chicken and set aside.
- Turn down the heat to medium and add the cumin and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant (just a few seconds). Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Season with just a bit of salt and stir to combine. Then add tomatoes, cinnamon and bay leaf. Use the back of your spoon to squish the tomatoes a bit, just to release some of the juices. Allow everything to cook together for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken thighs back into the pan. Turn the heat down to low. Coat both sides with the tomato mixture and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Check back every 15 minutes or so and flip the chicken thighs. If the mixture is too thick, add about 1/4 cup of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. I only had to add 1/4 cup but it all depends on your tomatoes.
- Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Season with salt if necessary. Serve over rice or linguine noodles.
I’d love to hear if you gave this recipe a try. Did you like it? Did you do anything different? Let me know!