Tomatoes and garlic are two of the most commonly used foods in Italian cooking. Add chicken or pasta and a few herbs to that mix and you have a true Italian meal.
You can easily master Italian garlic tomato chicken and once you do, it will definitely become one of your favorite go to dishes.
Let’s take a look at this authentic Italian dinner and get you all the knowledge you need to make it like a professional chef.
A Brief Look into Italian Ingredients
Italian cuisine is very different when you compare northern Italian foods to Southern Italian foods.
While in the North you will find lots of fish, potatoes, rice and cheeses as popular ingredients, the South tends to favor tomatoes, peppers, olives, garlic and ricotta cheese (just to name a few). When looking at the garlic and tomato chicken dish, it is clear that it originates from southern Italy. Tomatoes and garlic are both prevalent in the Southern regions but, of course, have spread throughout Italy over the years.
It is also interesting to take a look at how garlic is used in authentic Italian dishes.
In general, Italian chefs like to cook with simplicity in mind. Most dishes only have two to four components and the cook is to rely on the high quality of the ingredients for the flavor. So how did a spice as strong as garlic find its way into Italian dishes? The answer to that is… moderation.
While garlic is used very frequently in Italian cooking, authentic dishes will only contain small amounts of garlic. True Italian chefs know that the garlic flavor can overpower any dish, so they keep the quantity limited, getting just enough flavor from the garlic without it becoming overbearing. Many times, Italians will cook a meal with whole cloves of garlic and then remove them before eating. This way, the flavor is absorbed into the food, yet you are not actually eating large quantities of garlic.
It is the Italian American way of cooking which made into garlic a main ingredient.
Recipes that have been shifted from Italy to the United States often have double or triple the amount of garlic originally asked for.
While many may love this powerful flavor and associate it with classic Italian cuisine, to truly cook garlic like an Italian, you must use it in moderation and enjoy the subtle flavor it then has.
One of the best ways to add flavor to meat is to season it and let it sit overnight.
You can do this by using a marinade or a dry rub of spices. This tomato garlic chicken recipe will utilize a dry rub to instill a delicious taste right into the chicken itself.
A very common Italian blend of salt, pepper, oregano and basil is rubbed directly onto the chicken then wrapped and let to sit overnight. While it does take a little bit of planning and preparation, you will be so happy you followed this step as the result is unmatched.
There are two ways to make this dish, both being fantastic in their own way.
The first method is to use canned tomatoes, preferably Italian San Marzano tomatoes. This will create a dish with more sauce that can be used over pasta.
The other way is to slice up fresh tomatoes to cook alongside the chicken. Fresh tomatoes will hold their shape a little more than canned and the end-result will be a chicken with less dish with less sauce that is good eaten on its own. Both versions are delicious so choose which you prefer (or which you have ingredients for in your house already!).
Now this is just a little bonus as there isn’t actually any wine in the tomato garlic chicken dish, but it is still very important to the recipe.
Italians drink about 35 liters of wine per capita each year and why wouldn’t they?
As the current number one wine producer in the world (Italy and France fight for that first place spot every year!) and there is an abundance of excellent wines throughout Italy.
Pairing wines with food is something that comes almost as a second nature to many Italians and this tomato garlic chicken should not be an exception to this Italian tradition.
Pour a glass of Chianti or Sangiovese red wine and enjoy it with this meal as drinking wine alongside your dinner will complement and enhance the food in an unparalleled way.
Tomato Garlic Chicken Recipe
Active Time: 25 minutes
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in skin on
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 large tomatoes, slices or one can (28oz) San Marzano tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
- Place the chicken thighs on a plate and rub them all over with the spice mix. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The following day, place the olive oil in a large sauté pan along with the whole cloves of garlic and sliced onions and heat over medium. Sauté until the onions are translucent then add the seasoned chicken.
- Cover the pan and cook for 8 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and add the tomatoes to the pan. Cover and cook for another 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the meat near the bone is no longer pink. remove the whole cloves of garlic
- Serve over pasta, with vegetables or on its own while hot!
This Guest post was written by NonnaBox.com exclusively for Social Vignerons.