A great dish doesn’t need to take long or be difficult. Cheesy Baked Chicken in Stewed Tomato Sauce is wonderfully delicious and super easy too!
A few weeks back, I posted my recipe for Canned Stewed Tomatoes. I had mentioned a few ways in which one could use their new supply of canned stewed tomatoes, but I wanted to take it a step further. Instead of telling you, I am showing you with this Cheesy Baked Chicken in Stewed Tomato Sauce.
You see, Dear Reader, if you choose prepare Canned Stewed Tomatoes at home, then you can put together recipes like this quite quickly and easily. But, because I know not everyone has the time or the desire to break into home preserving and canning, you can certainly used store-bought stewed tomatoes too.
Canned Stewed Tomatoes is basically a sauce that has been simmered which consists of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and celery. You can imagine the deep flavour this simmered sauce has! It lends itself so well to many dishes, but one of my personal favourites is this cheesy chicken.
This chicken dish is almost like a chicken parmesan, except the chicken is not completely pan fried, and there’s no breadcrumbs or any other type of crust coating. There’s also no parmesan. In fact, this chicken is not like chicken parmesan at all now is it? Ha! It does have tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese though, so there’s that!
For this dish, you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs like I did, or you can use chicken breasts, chicken legs, or even whole chicken quarters. You will certainly have to adjust the cooking time though.
I choose chicken thighs with the bone in because I wanted to keep the chicken moist and flavourful. Skin on is a must if you want to achieve that deep, golden crust on the chicken. If you prefer, you can use skinless and boneless chicken to prepare a healthier version.
Frying the chicken first is very important. Not only for the browning part, but also when you sear the chicken on both sides, it helps to keep the chicken moist by locking in the flavour. Also, you don’t need to bake it so long to get a nice colour on it too, which would most certainly dry the chicken out.
This recipe will feed four people. Chicken thighs are not huge and I think two per person is quite generous, while serving just one might leave you a little hungry still. If you need more, you can easily double this recipe and it will work just fine. You can even half the recipe too!
So, what are you going to serve this with? I opted for some leftover rice that I had pan fried with some corn. But, this chicken works very well with almost anything you can think of. Rice, obviously, but you can serve this chicken with a salad too.
I tend to think of Cheesy Baked Chicken in Stewed Tomatoes as a hearty, fall-type dish, so I lean more toward grains and root veggies. Roasted potatoes and carrots would be great. A side of corn and peas, or creamed spinach would work too. What are you serving with your chicken? Write to me in the comments section below. As always, I love hearing from you!
Cheesy Baked Chicken in Stewed Tomato Sauce
- 8 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon light extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups stewed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 340 grams mozzarella ball, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the chicken under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Next, evenly distribute the salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Set aside.
- In a large, oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and allow the pan to get hot – about a minute or so.
- Lay each chicken piece, skin side down, in the hot skillet. Brown on each side for about 2 minutes. (You may need to do this in batches. Do not over crowd the pan.)
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
- Pour the stewed tomatoes into the pan and stir in the basil and oregano.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, skin side up. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Top chicken with mozzarella slices. Return to oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven, garnish and serve.