Chicken Thighs Braised in Rosemary, Garlic and Tomatoes

Chicken thighs are one of the easiest meats to prepare, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Brown the chicken really well and then let it braise slowly in lots of garlic, tomatoes and herbs. 

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. 

Happy Cooking! 

Serves 4-6


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.



  1. I tried this recipe last night. I altered it a bit, adding fresh oregano and basil, and substituted vinegar with red wine to de-glaze the pot. I also added chicken broth because I wanted it to have more liquid, which was a mistake – it was too thin. So next time I will not add the chicken broth. Thank you for sharing your recipe, it’s perfect for July in California with our abundant crop of fresh tomatoes.

    • Hi Mary,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipes. It’s one of my favorites! I too have added more chicken broth than necessary and then had to cook it down. 🙂 I love the red wine option, makes it a great tasting dish. I’m so glad you are enjoying an abundance of tomatoes! We’ve yet to see our tomato crop ripen up here. It’s been too cool of a summer unfortunately. 😦 Thanks for commenting Mary. Delicious Wishes!

  2. alisha gibson says:

    i have yet to try but with the way its smelling i am sure its going to be amazing. instead of potatoes i did roasted zuchini. my mouth is watering i want it to be done already.

    • Haha! Thanks Alisha! I hope you love it. Delicious Wishes 🙂

      • alisha gibson says:

        I was amazing!!! it’s def a keeper. thank you for such a great recipe. i am going to add my zucchini to the pot the next time and see how that tastes.

  3. I love this recipe! Looks so easy and chicken thighs are a great price at the grocery store this week! Hmmm…yup, still a couple of stalks of Rosemary in the fridge from Ma’s Garden (afraid it’s the last of it for the season) Polenta? Yup, a wedge of parm that needs to be used, Thanks for the dinner idea! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  4. Michele Sevart says:

    I loooove this sauce. So EASY and delicious.
    I threw in some kalamata olives at the end – very good.

    • Thank you Michele! I love these flavors. And I love the kalamata olives in the sauce, makes it more like a cacciatore. So glad you enjoyed!

  5. Love this dish. Lots of fresh flavors!

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