Tomato Braised Chicken Thighs

I like the idea of buying in bulk. In practice it doesn’t always work out. The 300-count of Excedrin looked like a good deal until the bottle expired with more than half left. The 30 pack of boxed tissues is great until you have to store it. And the frozen chicken thighs, 4 to a pack, 8 to an order, seem like a great thing to keep in the freezer until you get tired of seared chicken thighs with a pan sauce.

Tonight I had a package of thawed chicken thighs, the last of a jar of store-bought sofrito and some homemade tomato sauce. So I present for your consideration…

Tomato Braised Chicken Thighs
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Goya sofrito
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)
  • 1 lb. large elbow pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional but tasty)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat for about 1 minute. Pat chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down in the pot. Avoid crowding if possible. Salt and pepper the unseasoned side (which should be up).
  2. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken releases from the pan without a lot of tugging. Flip the chicken and brown the second side for 3-4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate when they release easily.
  3. Add the sofrito to the pan and scrap up any chicken bits that stuck to the pan. Add the tomato sauce and about 1 cup of water. Mix to combine. You want a loose sauce at this point.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot, nestling the thighs into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Flip the chicken in the sauce and try to submerge it. Recover, leaving the lid off a bit to allow some steam to escape. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  6. While the chicken cooks bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta. Be sure to add a couple of tablespoons of salt to the pasta water.
  7. When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to the package. While the pasta cooks remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with 2 forks. Return shred meat to the sauce and stir.
  8. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Stir so that all the pasta is covered with a bit of sauce.
  9. Serve up with a bit of Parmesan cheese and a little extra cracked black pepper.

Notes:
I used grape seed oil but any oil will do really. Butter wouldn’t be the best choice as it has a lower smoke point though if you mixed with a bit of vegetable oil you’d be fine.

You could chop the chicken into 1/2″ pieces. I thought the shredded chicken went better with the elbows.

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