As you have probably noticed, I have been on an Italian food kick for the last week; this is a departure from my usual food choices for my family because we typically try to avoid cooking foods with a lot of carbs. However, from time to time I stick with the same cuisine for a week or so, which works rather well when planning my grocery shopping list. Coincidentally, Italian is probably my favorite food to cook, I enjoy making everything from scratch, including the pastas, sauces, and breads. Years ago, when I had more time and ate more carbs, we enjoyed our fair share of homemade Italian dishes, but these days I try to scale back on the carbs and keep the cooking time to a minimum.
With that said, last week I had herbs, cheeses, and chicken thighs coming out of my ears, so naturally I had to get creative with the many ingredients and this is what I ended up with. I typically cook with chicken breasts, but this one seemed a little more ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ because the thighs were on too good of a sale to pass up.
The chicken thighs were a great alternative, staying moist and tender, while the ricotta added a creamy consistency to the sauce, making it similar to a vodka sauce. This is a quick and easy way to make a homemade tomato sauce while cooking your entree at the same time. As you can see, I served the chicken thighs in tomato sauce over a garbanzo bean and couscous side, which is simple to make and a nice alternative to pasta. You could also use quinoa, or zucchini noodles if you are also avoiding additional carbs. If your not avoiding them, then don’t forget to serve this dish with a slice of my homemade rosemary rustic loaf. Yum.
chicken thighs in tomato sauce
Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes / Serves: 6
6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 32oz can peeled tomatoes, crush by hand
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/4 fresh parsley, rough chopped + more for garnish
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 teaspoons salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Clean excess fat off chicken thighs, pat dry with paper towel and season with 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder and pepper as desired; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute about 5 minutes, or until onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add minced garlic to the onions and cook for one minute. Remove onions and garlic from the skillet and set aside in a small bowl.
- On medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and chicken thighs one at a time. Brown chicken on all sides, this should take about 8-10 minutes.
- Add onion mixture back into the skillet along with dried thyme, and continue to brown the chicken for another minute.
- Lower the heat to medium, add in the crushed peeled tomatoes, chopped parsley, 1-2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow tomato sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, then add in ricotta in large scoops and continue to simmer until the liquid begins to absorb and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve immediately over noodles, couscous, or rice.