If I’m grilling chicken breasts, sometimes I’ll prepare the sauce by itself, let it simmer for a while and then top my grilled chicken. Ranger Craig loves this sauce over grilled fish or a cornmeal fried Rockfish. However you decide prepare this recipe, it’s simple, fresh and delicious!
I love this recipe with a side of Creamy Parmesan Polenta (there I go again with the polenta, but I just can’t help myself). It seems polenta pairs well with just about anything, not to mention it’s delicious. If you’re tired of polenta and want a change of pace, try a big loaf of crusty bread to soak up all the yummy sauce. Or how about herbed brown and wild rice or garlic mashed potatoes. Spring veggies are arriving daily so make sure to roast some spring broccoli or spring asparagus. Recipes for those fabulous sides are found under “sides” in the category box to the right.
6 large free range or organic bone in chicken thighs (or 8 smallish thighs)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1-2 tablespoons refined safflower or sunflower oil (high heat oil)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes)(or in the summer, 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
¼ cup good quality white wine vinegar
1 large stalk of fresh rosemary
Pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat a high heat oil such as safflower or sunflower oil in a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium high heat. When the oil begins to get hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the pot and let them sear. When the thighs lift easily and are a rich brown in color, turn them over and sear on the other side.
When the chicken has been browned, transfer to a plate. If there is excess oil in the bottom of the pot, remove all but 2 tablespoons.
Add the onions to the pot and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes more.
Stir in the white wine vinegar and then the tomatoes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes and then the rosemary stalk.
Place the chicken thighs back into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Once the liquid has boiled, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 minutes and then remove the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes longer to reduce the liquid in the sauce and finish cooking the chicken.
When the chicken is done, transfer the thighs to a platter and ladle the sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or grated parmesan. Serve with creamy parmesan polenta or your favorite pasta.
OPTIONS: If you’d like to prepare just the sauce, begin with sauteing the onions instead of the chicken. Follow the remaining directions, only cooking time is decreased to about 20 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, simmer a little longer without the lid.
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
½ cup quick cook polenta (I like Moretti brand)
3 cups whole or 2% milk
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
Season with salt and pepper to taste
In a medium stock pot heat the milk on medium. Stir every once and a while so the milk won’t burn on the bottom. When the milk comes to a slow boil, add the polenta and stir.
Continue stirring the polenta until it thickens to a heavy creamy texture. Take it off the heat and add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.