Our love affair with chicken thighs and braises continues. This dish is made with thighs, braised in pancetta, wine, tomatoes and mirepoix vegetables. All in one pan, my favorite thing for quick weeknight meals. It’s delicious on its own or served with some orzo to sop up some of the delicious sauce. And, of course, leftovers the next day were even better.
This dish has diced onions, celery and carrots, also known as mirepoix. Garlic and rosemary, red wine and tomatoes. And pancetta, such great flavor, very different from bacon. I used chicken thighs but you could certainly use drumsticks, or a combination of both.
I never use canned chopped tomatoes, but this called for that so I used a petite diced tomato in a BPA free can. I have heard good and bad about the additive that’s used to keep tomatoes chopped in a can along with their color. But I didn’t want to chop my own San Marzanos, I didn’t think they’d work. I used Red Gold and was very pleased with their petite diced tomatoes. Decide for yourself on the tomato issue. You could dice your canned whole tomatoes and I’m sure it would work out fine in the recipe.
I made this for a Sunday dinner and we loved it. Meathead said it was his favorite of all the dishes I made that weekend. I kind of agree. Really great flavors all in one pan and even better the next day.
Enjoy ~ Kelly
Chicken Braised with Pancetta and Tomatoes
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (or drumsticks, or combination)
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ pound pancetta, diced or coarsely chopped
- 2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
- ¾ cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
- ½ cup diced celery (1 rib)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes and their juice
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add chicken, skin-side down, and brown well, then turn over and brown other side, about 10 minutes total. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the diced onions and cook until softened, scraping up any browned bits. If the bits aren't coming up or seem to be burning, pour in a little water to help deglaze the pan, a little water will do the trick. Onions should take about 2 minutes. Next, add the carrots and celery, cook until softened, another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the red wine and let it reduce by one third, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf and rosemary, and cook briefly. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
- Nestle the chicken pieces back in the pan, spooning a little, sauce over the chicken pieces, cover and cook over medium-low heat until chicken is tender and beginning to pull away from the bone, about 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
*Adapted from St. Louis Post-Dispatch food section, February 11, 2015.