Sunday, December 4, 2011

Simply Chicken in Tomatoes

It was our first big snow here in the Omaha area and I wanted to make something warm and comforting but I couldn't help but reminisce about the sweet days of summer.  I decided to make some juicy chicken thighs in a fresh summer tomato sauce.  This is a great way to use leftover frozen or canned tomatoes from your summer garden!  I really wanted to highlight the chicken and fresh tomatoes so I only used a few seasonings that wouldn't overpower the two main stars of the dish.  The result was a quick, simple, delicious dinner that only took 30 minutes start to finish.  It would be delicious served with my Summer Italian Veggie Bake, Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables or just a bowl of warm wild rice.  However you serve it, enjoy!

Crispy juicy chicken thighs with a fresh tomato garlic sauce: delish!

6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (preferably no antibiotics used & no water added)
1tbs ghee or butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1tbs minced garlic
4 large fresh or frozen (thawed) tomatoes
1 regular sized can tomato puree (no sugar added in the ingredient list)
fine sea salt and ground pepper
2tsp dried oregano or 2 sprigs fresh
1/4tsp garlic powder
1/4tsp poultry seasoning
1/4tsp red pepper flakes
2tbs balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat your oven to 400F.  While your oven is preheating, heat ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper chicken and then add it to the pan skin side down.  Cook until skin is crispy and brown, about 5-8 minutes.  Turn over and cook a minute more.  Remove to a separate plate.  Pour out all but 1tbs oil from the pan.
2. While the chicken is cooking, quarter tomatoes and put them in a food processor.  Pulse until slightly chunky but almost smooth.
3. Add garlic and onion to the oil and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Add fresh pureed tomatoes, a can of tomato puree, oregano, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil and stir, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Let simmer a minute or two and then taste and season with as much salt as you like.
4. Pour tomato sauce into an oven safe casserole dish (if your skillet is oven proof, no need to do this).  Place your thighs, skin side up, on top of the tomato sauce.
5. Place in the oven until the thighs read 170F (mine took 20 minutes).
6. Serve chicken with a large helping of sauce and enjoy!

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