Want to go to Italy but can’t? Me too. Why not try this Italian inspired Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Garlic and Capers. Delizioso! (That means delicious in Italian, thought I’d try and impress you with my Italian but the truth is I just used Google to translate).
My wonderful friend just came back from an around the world trip. It was literally around the world in six weeks. I just caught up with him yesterday and heard about all his exciting adventures. He went to the UK, Sicily, Iceland, USA (twice) and Mexico. Wow! Each one in themselves would have been a wonderful trip, but all of them together is just darn awesome. I was pretty jealous, but aren’t most of you too? What I was most jealous about was all the different and delicious foods he ate. In New York he had four Michelin stars in one day (three at lunch and one with a fancy burger for dinner). In Mexico he ate at little family owned restaurants with the most amazing fish tacos but it was his stories of the food in Sicily that inspired me to make these braised chicken thighs for dinner. Being Sicily, I guess the natural choice would have been something with lots of oranges or lemons, but I needed something that would travel and reheat well as this was destined for a friend of mine who has just had a little baby. Words of wisdom from Kate: if any of your family or friends have a baby forget the expensive bibs, blankets and cute toys. These are lovely of course but the best thing you can give a new mother, aside from your time, is food! Okay, back to the chicken.
I love chicken cacciatore, but often it can be a little heavy. This is a super quick (read: Tuesday night dinner), easy and light chicken dish that is equally great in winter or summer. The garlic, tomatoes and capers super-charge the flavour so its healthy and tasty. I think chicken thighs have more flavour and are more juicy than breasts, but if you want to make it even more healthy just sub in some chicken breasts. Serve with whatever greens are in season and some crunchy roast potatoes or rice.
My friend is coming over for dinner on Saturday. What to cook? My cooking just doesn’t compare!
Healthy Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Garlic and Capers
- 8 free-range chicken thighs skin and bone removed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 x 400g 14oz can chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp drained capers
- 3 Tbsp fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Season the flour then dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour to coat.
In a large fry pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the pan and sauté until just brown, approximately 5 minutes each side. If your pan is big enough you can do this in one batch, otherwise work in two batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until onion is soft, approximately 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown the garlic as this will make it bitter.
Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and cooking for approximately 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, stock, water, capers and oregano. Mix, then return the chicken thighs back to the pan and cover with the sauce. Bring to a simmer on a medium-low heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked through.
Serve with seasonal greens and crispy roast potatoes or rice.
You can substitute the chicken thighs with chicken breasts if you want an even healthier alternative. You can also use chicken thighs with the bone and skin on, just allow an extra 10-20 minutes to cook.