Chicken Braised with Tomato and Chickpeas

Polio in Umido con i Ceci

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

One of the tricky things about cooking chicken is that breast pieces cook faster than dark meat and will dry out if overcooked. Holding back the breast and putting it in after the rest of the chicken has cooked for about 20 minutes ensures moist, perfectly cooked breast pieces.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 1 hour


  • 1 chicken, about pounds
  • cups canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • cups drained canned chickpeas


  1. Cut the chicken into 12 pieces as described. Coarsely chop the canned tomatoes.
  2. Lightly crush and peel the garlic cloves and put them in a 12-inch skillet with the olive oil. Place over medium heat and sauté until they brown lightly, then remove and discard them. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and put half of the chicken pieces in the pan. Brown them lightly on both sides, then set them aside on a platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Once all the chicken is done, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Chop enough of the rosemary leaves to measure 1 teaspoon. Add the rosemary, tomatoes, and chickpeas to the pan and season with salt and pepper. When the tomatoes start bubbling, adjust the heat so that the tomatoes simmer. Add all the chicken pieces except for the breasts. Cover the pan with the lid slightly askew and cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken once during that time.
  4. Put the breast pieces in the pan and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until the dark meat is tender and begins to fall off the bone, 20 to 25 minutes more. If all of the liquid in the pan evaporates before the chicken is done, add a little water. If the chicken is almost done and there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, raise the heat, and finish cooking uncovered to allow the excess liquid to evaporate.
  5. Scoop out about one-quarter of the chickpeas and purée them in a food mill or food processor. Stir the puréed chick peas into the sauce. Serve hot.


This dish will keep well for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Add a couple tablespoons water when reheating it.