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Portuguese-Style Brandied Chile Oil

For this deliciously complex infused oil, chef Abraham Conlon dries his own chiles, but he suggests using widely available dried chiles de árbol for an easier at-home version. Steeping the chiles first in brandy and then in oil both extracts and enhances their flavor. Use the oil as an all-purpose condiment on bread, pizza, pasta, or roasted meats or vegetables

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes 1 quart

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  • 1 ounce dried chiles de árbol, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 1 cup brandy

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a heatproof 1-quart jar, combine the chiles with the brandy. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 3 days and up to 1 week, until the chiles have absorbed most of the brandy.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the juice of half a lemon with the vinegar and garlic and bring to a boil; pour the vinegar mixture into the jar. Thinly slice the remaining lemon half and add to the jar. Rub the herbs between your fingertips to release their aromas and add them to the jar. Fill the jar with enough olive oil to submerge the chiles and lemon and shake to mix. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, shaking the jar daily.

Make Ahead

The chile oil can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Contributed By Photo © Chris Chen Published August 2014

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