You will not find a more authentic tasting cheat recipe than this. You simply take your favorite marinara sauce add a few fresh items into the mix to take the recipe over to the next level. Your family and friends will feel like you've served them a meal straight from the finest Italian kitchen. The key here is to dredge your chicken in flour. It adds texture and helps seal in the flavor. Plus, it gives it a hint of deep-fried chicken. Who doesn't like that? If you're gluten-free, use garbanzo flour (that's what I use). Serve over some orzo pasta, mixed with fresh parsley and basil for a real treat. For my low-carb people, just used dried herbs and garlic and onion powders to make a pseudo coating for your chicken and sear it the same way.
NOTE: if you don't have a cast-iron or oven proof skillet, just transfer the chicken and sauces into a casserole dish and complete the oven process.
4 chicken thighs, bone in-skin on (Sub: legs or breasts with skin and bones)
1 sprig fresh rosemary, removed from stem and chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
(optional) 1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 lemon, sliced in thin circles, then quartered
2 cups marinara sauce + more to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
On a large plate, salt + pepper chicken pieces, both sides. Using your fingers, work the salt and pepper underneath the skin, careful to not detach the skin from the chicken.
Flour the chicken on both sides (dredge), lightly.
Heat olive oil in a deep, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, skin-side down. Lightly brown (about 3-4 minutes), then turn over and sear for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
Using tongs, tuck garlic, and lemons underneath and around the chicken pieces. Try to get them to touch the pan, as the goal is to caramelize them.
Sprinkle rosemary, onion, and celery around chicken. Pour white wine and marinara sauce evenly over and around.
Roast in the oven, on the center rack for an additional 20 minutes, or until bubbly and chicken juices run clear when pierced with a knife at the bone.
Remove, allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot over orzo or favorite pasta, or alone with a salad. spoon sauce from the bottom of the pan all over the chicken and orzo. Garnish with black olives, parsley, or fresh basil.