Columns Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Maggie’s Pantry

By Maggie Conklin
Chicken Simple
I bought four chicken thighs on sale and was at a loss how to cook them. It wasn’t enough to crank up the slow cooker, and I was tired of baked chicken.
I didn’t find much in the refrigerator, other than some rainbow chard. What’s in the pantry? A can of stewed tomatoes. This could work.
Last year I wrote about meal I ate in a subterranean speakeasy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yes, it was even cooler than it sounds.
I always try to order something I can’t easily get at home, so I chose a frog legs and shrimp dish. They were served in a simple reduction of stewed tomatoes and basil. Simple and delicious.
So I put a little oil in the bottom of a heavy deep frying pan so the chicken wouldn’t stick, and dumped the tomatoes on top.
I only had dried basil, so I liberally sprinkled it over the chicken. Because it’s hard to leave well enough alone, I also added a lot of tarragon, which I love in my fowl recipes. As you can see from the photo, both were generously sprinkled.
2 Tbsp cooking oil
4 chicken thighs or your favorite parts
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil or 2 Tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp tarragon
2 cups chopped rainbow chard or spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Layer ingredients in a pan in order of this list. Cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes or until there is no pink when cut. This timing will depend on how big the pieces of chicken are. Baste the chicken a couple times.
I covered the pot with a lid, which prevented the sauce from evaporating and made it somewhat runny. The next time I think I’ll keep it uncovered to allow for a thicker sauce.
If you liked this recipe, consider experimenting with different herbs the next few times you make it. Other possibilities include rosemary, thyme, oregano or even curry.

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