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Chicken Thighs in Tomato-Ginger Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Seasoned with warm spices, this Indian-inspired chicken dish is savory and comforting. The butter swirled into the sauce may seem like an unusual addition, but it adds richness and flavor, and softens the tomatoes’ acidity. Serve with basmati rice or naan.


  • 8 small, boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil; more as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 15-oz. cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 390
      Fat Calories (kcal): 190
      Fat (g): 21
      Saturated Fat (g): 7
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
      Cholesterol (mg): 175
      Sodium (mg): 810
      Carbohydrates (g): 20
      Fiber (g): 5
      Protein (g): 32


  • Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Brown half of the chicken, flipping once, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil if the pan looks dry.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until golden-brown on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, increase the heat to medium high, and simmer vigorously until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and any accumulated juice. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, reduce the heat, and simmer until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to plates or a platter. Stir the butter into the sauce until incorporated and season to taste with salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the cilantro, and serve.


Rate or Review


  • kargardn | 05/19/2017

    Great recipe, easy and not too many ingredients. I love recipes like this one. Good standby

  • brer_rabbit | 01/14/2017

    Good, but could use a little extra spice (not heat)I left the cayenne pepper as it is and added a half tsp each of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. It made a gig difference in the depth of flavor.

  • user-4065212 | 07/06/2016

    Love this. I usually use half the amount of tomato which seems plenty. Sometimes I use bone-in thighs and simmer longer.

  • flip7 | 04/13/2015

    This has become one of our favourite dishes with thighs. The flavours are well-balanced and the garam masla and cayenne add just the right amount of heat.

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