Slow-braising chicken in a red wine and tomato enriched sauce is a beautifully simple way to get the best out of seasonal ingredients that you might have in the fridge. The orzo pasta soaks up the flavours of chicken, tomatoes and garden herbs as it cooks. The salty addition of capers perfectly balances the sweetness of the sauce. It’s just a wonderfully rich, piquant one-pot wonder. Served with a crisp chilled salad and it’s job done. Thanks to Food Editor Tess Prince.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
8 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves sliced
200ml red wine
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
small bunch parsley chopped
4 fresh plum tomatoes chopped
600ml jar organic passata
1 chicken jelly stock cube (300ml)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp capers
300g orzo pasta (rinsed under water)
To garnish: Plum cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, grated parmesan
Add oil to a casserole dish, add chicken thighs brown for 10 mins, turning occasionally, remove to a separate dish.
Tip in the onion and sauté for 5-8 mins until the onion is tender. Add more olive oil if needed. Now add the sliced garlic for a further minute.
Pour in the wine, stirring it with the onions and garlic, then leave to evaporate slightly in the residual heat before adding the bay, thyme, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes and passata.
Dissolve the stock cube in 300ml boiling water and pour this in, then add the vinegar and capers.
Nestle the chicken back in the pan, skin-side up, and cook with lid on for 30 mins until the sauce is thickened. Stir occasionally.
Add the orzo, stir well and cook for another 15 mins until tender and the meat is cooked through.
Turn off the heat and leave for 5 mins for the orzo to absorb the flavours. Scatter over the parsley leaves, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes to serve.
Perfect with a crisp salad and warm sourdough for moppage!