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Stuffed Chicken Thighs Braised in Tomato Sauce

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Rating: 5   Reviews: 1 See Reviews
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Active Time:  2 Hours
Total Time:  2 Hours 30 Minutes
  10 servings, 1 thigh & 2/3 cup sauce each
Spinach-Parmesan stuffing provides great flavor in boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Try it with the optional chicken livers in the stuffing for an extra-rich treat. And don’t worry, even though when stuffed it looks like the filling will ooze out, it doesn’t. The egg in the stuffing acts as a binder to keep everything in place. The recipe makes plenty of sauce, so be sure to cook up some pasta or make mashed potatoes to serve alongside the saucy chicken.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the stuffing (Step 1), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or stuff the chicken (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. | Equipment: Kitchen string
For Stuffing & Chicken:
1 cup  frozen (thawed) or cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup  fresh breadcrumbs from day-old bread, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
4 ounces  fresh chicken livers, coarsely chopped (optional; see Note)
1/2 cup  freshly grated parmesan cheese
1   large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons  chopped fennel fronds (optional)
2 tablespoons  finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon  chopped garlic
2 teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon  freshly ground pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon  salt, divided
10   4- to 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
2 tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
For Sauce:
2 cups  finely chopped onion
1/2 cup  finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup  diced fennel bulb
1/4 cup  finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons  minced garlic
1 1/2 cups  dry white wine
3 cups  reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 28-ounce can  crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons  chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon  salt

: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh crumbs. Note: Look for fresh chicken livers that have not been previously frozen. Previously frozen livers exude more liquid when cooking.
Stuffed Chicken Thighs Braised in Tomato Sauce Recipe at
To prepare stuffing & chicken: Combine spinach and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl with chicken livers (if using), Parmesan, egg, fennel fronds (if using), 2 tablespoons shallot, 1 tablespoon garlic, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Place a chicken thigh skinned-side down on a work surface. Fill the thigh with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing, first filling the area (or pocket) left by the bone and placing the rest in the center of the thigh. Roll the thigh closed and secure with 2 pieces of kitchen string. Repeat with the remaining thighs and stuffing. (You may leftover stuffing). Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt.

Heat oil in a large, heavy, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add half the thighs, seam-side down. Cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with the remaining thighs.

To prepare sauce: Add onion, carrot, fennel, 1/4 cup shallot and 2 tablespoons garlic to the pan. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits; bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, basil, thyme and the chicken thighs. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered and turning the thighs occasionally, until cooked through and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove the thighs with a slotted spoon; tent with foil to keep warm. Simmer the sauce further to thicken it, if desired, or thin with a little broth or water if it’s too thick. Season with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 03/01/2010
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Comfort Mains: Stuffed Chicken
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   10 servings, 1 thigh & 2/3 cup sauce each
Calories: 333
Fat. Total: 13g
Protein: 28g
Carbohydrates, Total: 20g
Fat, Saturated: 4g
Fiber: 4g
Cholesterol: 100mg
Sodium: 615mg
% Cal. from Fat: 35%
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 1 reviews »

Rating: 5
by: Laurie Reviewed: 01/25/2012
This was delicious. I didn't use the chicken livers nor the fennel and it was still great! The entire family liked it. Will definitely make again!
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