This recipe was originally created & intended to be made on an outdoor bbq or grill. But unfortunately, on the particular evening we had planned, heavy thunderstorms brought our bbq party indoors. So I ended up using my trusty cast iron skillet & oven to save the day. If you have an indoor grill pan, that works just as well for this recipe. Thankfully, the chicken was a big hit ☺. I did manage to eventually try this on the outdoor grill & it was fantastic, just perfect for a backyard bbq on lovely summer day.
I prefer using chicken thighs (or chicken legs) for this recipe, they remain moist & juicy despite the intense heat during the cooking process. Now as Indians, we love our food spicy – but feel free to dial down the spicy heat to your family’s comfort levels.
SPICY CHICKEN THIGHS
6 chicken thighs (I used bone-in thighs with skin), scored
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup chicken stock
For the marinade
6-8 small red (or green) Thai chilies, to taste
2 large shallots, roughly chopped
5-6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
small handful of cilantro leaves (you can use the tender stems also)
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
½ tbsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
fresh lemon wedges for garnish
Using a blender or food processor, add all of the marinade ingredients & blend into a smooth thick paste. Marinate the chicken thighs with the spicy marinade (I use a large plastic re-sealable Ziploc storage bag). Make sure the marinade is evenly distributed, you can massage the chicken through the bag. I like to marinade the chicken in the refrigerator overnight (or longer) but you need at least 4-6 hours of marinating – minimum.
When you are ready to make the chicken, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.
Heat up your cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the 2 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, brown the chicken skin side down first. After 5 minutes, turn the chicken thighs over & let cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Then carefully transfer the hot skillet to the hot oven. Roast the chicken thighs for 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. The chicken should be golden brown & moist, the skin should be crispy. Let the chicken rest for another 5 minutes, garnish & serve.
For a wonderful earthy flavor, add a sprig of rosemary to the pan while chicken thighs while are roasting in the oven. Feel free to add some vegetables to the pan while roasting, such as baby carrots or baby zucchini/baby yellow squash.