Garlic Chicken In Tomato Sauce (Ostropel)

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chicken in tomato sauce
garlic chicken in tomato sauce (ostropel de pui)

Delicious chicken in tomato sauce. Hmmm… yum! More tasteful with added garlic. A satisfying, full of flavor and easy to make recipe. Are you in?… Let’s cook this.

garlic chicken tomato sauce
Romanian ostropel de pui

This is one of traditional Romanian dish named Ostropel de Pui, that I grew up with. It is cooked on a regular basis, for its tastiness and easiness.

Apart from seasoning, you only need 3 ingredients. So, let’s see what they are.


🍲 Ingredients Used In This Recipe

Anyone has around some chicken, tomatoes (fresh or canned) and garlic. Don’t you?…

garlic chicken tomato sauce
how to make garlic chicken tomato sauce

For this dish, we are going to use:

  • chicken – thighs & drumsticks are best for this recipe, but you can use whatever you have
  • tomato puree – you can also use canned tomatoes or fresh ripe tomatoes grated / finely chopped
  • of course garlic (lots of it!) is what gives this dish full flavor and incredible taste
  • vegetable cooking oil
  • salt, pepper and thyme to season
  • some fresh parsley to serve


👉 Here’s why you should make this recipe:

  • It’s so tasty and delicious! Full of flavor and color
  • It’s easy to make with ingredients always at hand
  • You can serve it with bread, polenta, rice or mashed potatoes


🍗 How To Make Garlic Tomato Chicken

1. Fry the chicken

Prepare the garlic. Peel the cloves and finely chop 1/3 of them. Keep the others for the finishing touch. Prepare the chicken parts and fry them in small amount of coking oil on all sides until golden brown. Take them apart.

2. Make the sauce

In the same pot, saute the chopped garlic until golden. Pour in the tomato puree and stir well for some moments. Add some hot water (or broth) to slightly dilute the sauce and let it simmer on medium low heat for approx. 10 minutes to release some of the acidity.

Season with salt, black pepper and dried thyme. Add the chicken parts to the sauce and let them cook on low heat until ready. Cover the pot, but not entirely so the steam can be released. It will take somewhere to 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending of the quality of the meat.

chicken tomato sauce
delicious chicken tomato sauce

Make sure you stir occasionally and watch it closely, because the sauce will reduce and it may be necessary to add small amounts of hot water from time to time. If you use fresh tomatoes, they leave more liquid and the water is not so much necessary.

3. Add the remaining garlic

When the chicken is cooked trough, 2-3 minutes before we stop the heat we add the remaining garlic. Slice it, crush it or grate it, whatever you like. Stir and leave to cook together another couple of minutes so all that garlic flavor get infused into the sauce.

Taste again for saltiness. If the taste is too sour, you can add 1 tbsp of sugar to correct it. Cook one more minute and turn off the flame.


🍽️ Sprinkle Fresh Parsley & Serve

Chop some fresh parsley and sprinkle on top. Serve as a stand alone dish with your preferred bread or polenta, or next to some freshly cooked rice or mashed potatoes as side dishes.

chicken tomato sauce with garlic
chicken tomato sauce

That’s it! Easy and tasteful. Try it and I guarantee you’ll love it.

garlic chicken tomato sauce

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chicken in tomato sauce

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Garlic Chicken In Tomato Sauce (Ostropel)

Garlic. chicken and tomatoes, a match made in Heaven for a food lover. Full of flavor and color.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: chicken, chicken tomato sauce, easy, garlic, summer, tomatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 8 chicken parts thighs and drumsticks
  • 2 3/4 cups (600ml) tomato puree or 3.3 lbs (1,5kg) fresh ripe chopped/grated tomatoes
  • 10-12 large garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley


  • Prep the chicken parts and fry them in oil until golden brown on all parts. Take them apart and add 1/3 sliced garlic cloves. Saute for 1 minute then add the tomato puree. Stir well and add 1 cup/240 ml hot water (chicken broth) to dilute the sauce. Let it simmer 10 minutes to release some of the acidity.
  • Season with salt, black pepper and dried thyme to taste. Add in the chicken parts, cover them with sauce and let them cook on low heat until ready. Cover the pot, leaving a crack open. It should take approx. 40 minutes to 1 hour. Stir from time to time, turning the chicken parts over on all sides. If the sauce reduces too much, add small quantities of hot water so the meat has enough liquid to cook in.
  • 3 minutes before turning off the heat, add the remaining garlic cloves. Grated or crushed is better to release their full flavor. Taste the sauce and if necessary add a pinch of sugar to correct the acidity.
  • Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve as it is, with your favorite bread.


To variate, you can also serve it with polenta, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.
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