As a kid, my mother made an iteration of this dish at least once a week for my brother and me. It was the easiest of easy dishes she made. She didn’t need to look at a recipe; she usually had all of the ingredients, minus the chicken, on hand at any given moment; and on those nights when she wasn’t all that inspired to try something new, this was her go-to.
A few weeks ago, fall finally arrived in Los Angeles and I was craving something light and filling. I wanted it to be fuss-free yet warm and comforting. I remembered this dish, the one she always made for us. I looked in my kitchen and was pretty excited to see that the only thing I really needed was the chicken. I ran to my neighborhood store and picked that up and I had dinner about 30 minutes after that.
If you, too, are looking for an easy dish that can be thrown together in under an hour and can feed a good amount of people, this is for you!
Tomato Garlic Chicken
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, membrane/stem removed and cut into strips
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 cup white wine, ideally it’ll be dry but really it’s not that serious
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Sprinkle the chicken thighs and drumsticks with a few pinches of salt and pepper. In a dutch oven or medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Flip the chicken and cook on the opposite side for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your pot is.
- If needed, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the diced onion; cook until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place the garlic atop the onion mixture and cook for an additional minute or so, until it’s fragrant.
- Add the red bell pepper slices and the spices: ground cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes, if using, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix, allowing it to cook for another minute. Pour in the white wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to get up any browned tasty bits. Mix in the tomato paste and can of diced tomatoes. Add about 1 cup of water to the empty tomato can and swirl it around, making sure you get any last bits and flavor of tomato. Pour the tomato water into the pot and give it a good stir. Nestle the reserved chicken into the pot and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Give the sauce a last taste and adjust the salt to your liking (I added about 1/2 teaspoon more of salt). Serve this over a bed of rice or with a side of greens.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.