Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs by Dorie Greenspan


From Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt)

I had my favorite kind of problem with this recipe — I couldn’t decide whether to make it with chicken or pork, since it was so good with both. The dish is a simple sauté-then-braise affair and the sauce is a simple chili and soy mixture. Together, they make something so good and so versatile that the only right thing to do is to pull the recipe out regularly.

Whether made with chicken or pork, the dish is weeknight-easy, but it’s also the kind of recipe that you could happily serve for a party — double it, if you’d like, and make a pile of rice to keep it company. It’s not fancy; it’s just what everyone wants.

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil, or as needed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
  • 11⁄2 to 3 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, germ removed (see page 320) and minced
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) white wine
  • 8 chicken thighs, with or without skin and/or bones, patted dry
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) Thai sweet chili sauce (see page 335) 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (preferably French)
  • 1 to 11⁄2 teaspoons Sriracha (to taste)
  • Sliced scallions and crushed red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic, season lightly with salt and cook, stirring, until they soften a bit and are translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the white wine, increase the heat and cook, stir- ring, until most of the wine evaporates, about 2 minutes. Again, don’t color the onions and friends. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl.

Return the pot to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place the thighs in the pot and brown on all sides, adding more oil if necessary. (If the thighs will be crowded, do them in two batches.) Pour off and discard the oil. If you’ve got burned bits stuck on the bottom of the pot, remove the chicken and scrub the pot, then return the chicken to it. Return the onion mixture to the pot, along with any juices that accumulated, add the chili sauce, soy sauce, mustard and Sriracha and stir to blend. Season lightly with salt and pepper and clap the lid on the pot.

Turn the heat down to low and cook the chicken, basting occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until it is opaque in the center; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh should register 165 degrees F.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter (or don’t — serving from the pot is just fine) and spoon over some of the sauce. Sprinkle with scallions and pepper flakes, if you’d like. Pass the rest of the sauce at the table.

STORING: Leftovers can be kept in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.