Day 1 – Chicken and Tomato Braise with Steamed Rice

EDIT: This is the very first recipe I ever posted on this site, and I thought it was worth bringing to your attention again. In this mad month of end of year exams and pressing – very pressing – deadlines, I will be re-posting some of the earlier recipes, from six months ago or more. Some of them, like this one, became instantly popular. Others are deserving of your attention again, having been missed the first time around.

Besides, this is a very popular recipe in our house and my daughter, recuperating from illness, would like this to be tonight’s meal. I can’t say fairer than that.

I first got this recipe from a Coles food card that was in the supermarket and I was lost for ideas. I have used this ever since the kids were tiny and they have loved it. It’s a very good family dish for fussy eaters.

Serves 4


  • 2-3 Chicken thigh fillets, diced OR 6 Drumsticks OR Chicken Casserole pieces
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ packet French onion soup mix
  • 440g tin diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)


Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan or large frying pan and sauté chicken pieces until brown. Remove meat, add onions and garlic and fry until translucent.

Return the meat to pan, with tomatoes and juices, the soup mixture and one cup water. Add soy, season with a little white pepper and a teaspoon of sugar and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has melted down to a rich red. Add parsley at the last minute.

Steam 1-1½ cup of basmati or jasmine rice in a rice steamer. Serve with fluffy rice piled high on plate and casserole and juices to the side.


$8.20 for 4 people.

0 thoughts on “Day 1 – Chicken and Tomato Braise with Steamed Rice”

  1. i am going to make this, well done on your blog and good on you for rising to this challenge in such a dignified way. we can all do with some budgeting tips, i’m putting this blog in my favourites and eagerly await the publication of your recipe book!

    1. Rainbow, thank you for such a wonderful response. I’m really thrilled to be doing this, I’m still convinced it can be done, and I’m already working on a bunch of recipes for the next two weeks. I have no publication deal though, so let’s just stick to this project for now, one easy and cheap recipe at a time …

  2. We had the chicken and tomato braise for dinner last night and it was delicious. My husband had seconds and my elderly father-in-law cleaned his plate! Thanks for this great recipe. With winter coming it’s going to become a favourite in my house. I made a double batch and the leftovers are going to be even better.

  3. i made this last night and it wad divine!!
    my husband said, and i quote, “that was AMAZING!!”
    thanks, i will make it again for sure and will keep coming back everytime i need some ideas for dinner.

  4. I made this tonight however as I had no french onion I only had dutch curry so I used that instead will let you know how it goes

    1. That sounds good, other than onion, try chicken or tomato soup – really you want to enhance the existing flavours – you could also add 2 tbsp cornflour into the mixture if you have no soup mix at all.

  5. it was awesome thanks very much…..the hungry footballers came home as well as my partner and demolished the lot. I have a heap of the sauce left over though so Im trying to think what I can add into it to make it different. Anysuggestions

  6. I made this last night and it was wonderful! Instead of rice, I just steamed some veggies (peas, corn, carrot) in the microwave and put them in. I made rice to add to leftovers for lunch today.
    The boyfriend LOVED it — big thumbs up from us!
    Only one thing: I found thigh fillets a bit pesky; it was hard to tell if the thin white stuff on top was skin and trying to remove it was very difficult (I am a new cook and a bit crap still). Delicious though.

    1. Picardie.girl, the thin white stuff could have been the skin (it would be goosepimpled) or the gristle of the meat (that would be odd bits of white flesh clumped at odd points around the thigh). You can trim the gristle if you prefer but as this recipe calls for browning the thigh fillets, all of those oddities are taken care of in the cooking process.

      So- don’t remove it unless you want to. And don’t worry about being a crap cook. Everyone is a crap cook until they find a recipe that they love to make and gets applause everytime. Sounds like you’re on your way.

      1. With your help, I am! This blog is on my favourites list now so I can check every day and see what’s new. Loving it 🙂
        And from your description, it was neither of those things — just the filmy outside of the chicken — I won’t worry too much next time. Thanks!

      2. hey picardie girl,

        I think you’re talking about the membrane between the skin and the meat. Usually when you buy chicken, it says either skin on or skin off. You know what chicken skin looks like, don’t you? The membrane stuff that is usually on thighs – leave it, just get rid of the left over bones. Otherwise you have to pull them out of your teeth when you’re eating it!
        Sandra’s right, if it looks like it has goosebumps, and is white or yellowish, that is the skin – if you want low fat, remove it, but we all know the skin is the BEST bit of chicken!
        With something like this, you need a bit of fat to stay on the chook, as it helps with the browning. It also adds to the sauce. I used to live with my fat crazy Mum, and I would grill chicken skin! So yummy!

  7. Hiya Sandra,

    I made this again last week (it’s becoming a staple) but this time left out the soy sauce and used 2 or 3 tablespoons of Cream of Tomato soup & threw in some dried Italian mixed herbs with the onion. I served it with Soyaroni pasta, it was even scrummier! xx

  8. I made this for dinner last night and it was magnificent! I made it with mashed potato instead of the rice as I’m not a huge fan of rice, and it was great.

  9. Tonight we are trying this recipe, looks yummy ! I am using chicken marylands as I got 10 for $6.50 enough for 2 meals so we are trying this recipe then Apricot chicken tomorrow night…. thanks for another great recipe.

  10. Oh goodie – was just browsing through your recipes to find a cheap, delicious way that I can use the chicken thighs & diced tomato I bought. Cant wait to give this one a try. Thanks Sandra x

  11. Hi Sandra, I just listened to your inteview on ABC radio & rushed to check out your website, especially to look at your very first recipe. I’ve been making that recipe for years & I often add some mushrooms. I slice them & saute them with the onion & garlic.

    1. It’s a great recipe isn’t it? Isometimes throw in a tin of chickpeas if it’s a hungry day and we need a little more bulking up. Welcome aboard, feel free to look around. xx

  12. Hi Sandra, I also just heard you on ABC Local radio and have been browsing your Pantry basics. This is just what I need right now, with food prices going up and we’re already on a stretched budget. Thank you and good luck

  13. Hi, just found your blog, The recipe sounds delicious but to this household $8.00 is too expensive, for our budget, of 1 adult and 2 teens.

    I look forward to reading your other entries

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