Pan-Braised Florida Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Garlic and Arugula



  • 4 large chicken thighs, skin and bone included
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups fresh arugula
  • canola oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Season each chicken thigh thoroughly with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Preheat a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat (make sure the pan has a tight-fitting lid and that the sides of the pan are at least 2 inches high). Do not heat the pan with the lid on.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil to the preheated pan.
  4. Carefully add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the pan.
  5. Cook chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total and until the skin is crispy.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  7. Add the diced onion to the pan, scraping the bits of flavor from the bottom.
  8. Continue to cook onions until caramelized (about 3 minutes).
  9. Add garlic to onion mixture and cook for 1 more minute.
  10. Add tomatoes to the onion mixture and stir to combine.
  11. Add the broth to the tomato mixture and stir.
  12. Nestle the chicken thighs down in the tomato mixture.
  13. Cover pan and cook over medium heat for around 20 minutes.
  14. Chicken should be cooked all the way through the thickest part of the chicken.
  15. Insert an internal cooking thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should read 165 degrees for correct doneness.
  16. Remove chicken from pan and let cool slightly.
  17. Turn the heat on the tomato mixture back up to medium high.
  18. Cook for several minutes or until tomato mixture is back to a rapid boil.
  19. Add arugula to the tomato mixture and stir.
  20. Turn the heat off and let the arugula wilt inside the tomato mixture.
  21. Spoon the tomato mixture evenly onto each plate and place a chicken thigh on top.
  22. Serve chicken with rice and fresh Florida vegetables.