Home Cooking In the Kitchen In the Kitchen Home-cooking can be easy and delicious

In the Kitchen
Home-cooking can be easy and delicious

Photo: Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig

In the wake of back-to-school and the beginning of the end of summer, home-cooked meals can get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Home-cooked meals are essential for some and only occasional for others. Either way, an ideal home-cooked meal is one that’s simple and full of flavor. Cooking at home for me isn’t always a joy, I’ll be honest. I work in a kitchen. I prefer not to always be in a kitchen, although if you’re looking for me you can most likely find me in the kitchen.

Finding flavorful meals that are simple and quick are sometimes hard to come by, as I’m sure most of you know. I’m going to take you back to another one of my favorite chicken dinners — one that can be made ahead or thrown together with pantry ingredients at the last minute. Braising meat can create flavor and lock in moistness. This recipe is one that can be altered to your liking. Add mushrooms or use beef short ribs, it’s one that can go in any direction.

I’ve always found that gathering around a table is the perfect way to end the day. And of course an even more perfect way to end any day is with a delicious meal. So if no one is talking at the dinner table that can only mean one thing, the food must be good.

Braised Chicken Thighs With Tomato

Serves 4-5

8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
20 ounces of tomato purée or diced tomatoes
1 sprig of thyme
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
Orzo, pasta or rice for serving

• In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and ground black pepper on both sides. When the oil is ready place the chicken, skin side down. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Cook in batches. Remove from pan and set aside.

• Pour off all but about a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion to the pan, cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sprig of thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red wine to the pan and reduce, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half, about 3 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, chicken stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the pan, skin side up.

• Partially cover the pan and turn the heat down so the sauce is at a low simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

• If the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken and cook the sauce a little longer until it begins to get a little thicker. Add the chicken back into the sauce and serve alongside orzo, pasta or rice.

Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig
Kayleigh is a sous chef at the Meadow Club in Southampton. A Riverhead native, she is married and the mother of a daughter born in December 2016. Email Kayleigh