Spice-rubbed chicken thighs
© Petrina Tinslay

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN

"I grew up on chicken thighs," says Top Chef all-star Tre Wilcox. "These days I season them with crushed red pepper and star anise and braise them in a sauce with tomatoes and red wine."

slideshow  More Recipes for Chicken Thighs


  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  2. 1/4 star anise pod
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  6. 8 meaty chicken thighs
  7. 1/4 cup canola oil
  8. 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  9. 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  10. 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  11. 3 thyme sprigs
  12. 3 oregano sprigs
  13. 1 cup dry red wine
  14. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  15. 1 tablespoon honey
  16. Chopped parsley and chives, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, toast the coriander, star anise, cracked peppercorns and crushed red pepper over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool; pulse until coarsely ground. Add the salt. Rub the spices all over the chicken.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until deep golden, 10 minutes. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Pour off most of the oil from the skillet and add the onion and leek. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and oregano and cook until the tomatoes just begin to break down, 3 minutes. Add the red wine and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of water and pour the mixture into the roasting pan.
  3. Cover the pan with foil and braise the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the sauce into a saucepan. Boil until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and honey; keep warm.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Return the chicken to the roasting pan, skin side up, and broil 8 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Suggested Pairing

Fruit-forward Côtes-du-Rhône.