I’m a warm weather gal, but when the new fall season comes around, I’m reminded of just how much I love this cozy time of year. Whether I’m nesting with a great book and a glass of wine, or spending a languid Sunday in the kitchen cooking some of my favourite comfort food recipes, fall is a great time to unwind and relax at home.
This chicken and tomato stew is always on the menu at my house, and it’s incredibly easy to make. I always make it a few days ahead of time before I serve to my family because it allows all the flavours to marinate together for an even richer and more complex taste.
Grab your shopping bag, here’s what you need!
- 6 chicken legs, bone in
- Extra virgin olive oil (a generous tablespoon, or two)
- 1 large Vidalia onion (chopped)
- 6 large garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¾ teaspoon of ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 large can (14oz) San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 pint of chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and let it come to room temperature. This typically takes about an hour.
- Season each leg with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Heat your extra virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven, or another sturdy pot, over medium-to-high heat.
- Cook the chicken legs until they form a nice golden crust on all sides. (Transfer to a plate.)
- Now, in the same Dutch oven, add your onion into the delicious chicken drippings, and stir until softened (about 8 minutes).
- Add the garlic, cook until softened, then go in with your tomato paste, turmeric and cinnamon.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes – along with all the juice – into the pot; smash and break up the tomatoes so they’re in smaller chunks. (I’ll use a wooden spoon for this part.)
- Add back the chicken, pour in your broth and bring to a slow simmer.
- Reduce heat to low, cover partially with a lid so you’re letting a little steam out, then allow to simmer until the chicken is tender and the juices reduce and thicken.
Oftentimes, I will let this stew cool, then I’ll put it in the fridge overnight. It may seem counterintuitive not to serve it right away, but this is when the magic happens: by allowing the stew to “rest” and marinate longer, the depth of flavor is more complex and much richer.
When it’s time to serve this stew, I like to garnish each bowl with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve alongside toasted sourdough bread and a great glass (or two or three – you know how I am!) of a French or Italian full-bodied red. Add a simple green salad on the side and that’s all you really need as its freshness will complement the richness of the stew beautifully.