Thomas Keller’s Lemon-Brined Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is an essential part of my husband’s annual birthday feast. This may be the best version I’ve ever made. Not only was the meat incredibly tender from the lemony and garlicky brine, the seasoning in the crispy coating was super delicious as well. Fabulous.

The recipe was first published in Food and Wine in 2007 and then updated and re-published as a staff-favorite recipe in 2022. It was contributed by Thomas Keller who serves it every other Monday at his restaurant Ad Hoc in Napa Valley. The recipe was adapted from his book Ad Hoc at Home.

I adapted the recipe by modifying the method and proportions, and by substituting boneless, skinless chicken thighs for bone-in chicken pieces. I brined the chicken the day that I fried it. I also used a countertop electric skillet to more easily maintain an even cooking temperature- absolutely life changing. (Thank you to my Mother-in-Law for giving it to me!)

I made 15 chicken thighs- enough to have leftovers for days. That’s how we like to extend birthday celebrations in my house. 🙂 I included instructions on how to successfully re-heat the chicken below.

We ate the fried chicken with Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potato Spoon Bread, and green salad with Ice Box Buttermilk Salad Dressing. We completed the feast with Vanilla Bean Birthday Cheesecake for dessert. Perfect. ❤

Yield: Serves 8 to 12

For the Brined Chicken:

  • 8 cups (2 quarts or 1/2 gallon) cold water
  • 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 T honey
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise
  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 10 to 15 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry

For the Seasoned Flour & To Finish the Dish:

  • 3 cups (about 12.75 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • about 2 quarts canola or peanut oil, for frying
  • fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, for garnish
  • fine sea salt or ground fleur de sel, for garnish

To Brine the Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and salt; stir until dissolved.
  2. Pour the salt water into a 2 gallon zip-top bag inside a large pot. (I used a stainless pasta pot.) Add the honey, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, parsley, and lemon halves; stir to combine.
  3. Add the trimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs, being sure they’re completely submerged; seal the bag. Refrigerate for 10 to 12 hours. (Do not refrigerate for longer than 12 hours or the chicken may become too salty.)
  4. Remove chicken thighs from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the meat. Discard the brine.
  5. Let the chicken stand until it comes to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.

To Coat and Cook the Chicken:

  1. Fill a 12-inch electric skillet with about 2 quarts of oil; heat to 320-325 degrees. (Alternatively, fill a large pot with oil to a depth of 2 inches; heat over medium to medium-high to 320 degrees.)
  2. Set a wire rack over a foil and paper towel-lined, rimmed, baking sheet. Reserve for cooked chicken.
  3. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Reserve for raw chicken.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Divide the mixture between two glass pie dishes (about 1 1/2 cups each).
  5. Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  6. Working with one chicken thigh at a time, dip the chicken in the first bowl of flour; turn to coat and pat off excess. Dip into buttermilk, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Dip into the second dish of the flour mixture.
  7. Transfer the coated chicken to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining pieces. (I continued to do this while simultaneously starting to cook some of the chicken thighs.)
  8. Carefully lower the chicken thighs into the hot oil, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a temperature of 320 degrees. (I cooked 3 thighs at a time.)
  9. Cook for 2 minutes, and the carefully turn over using tongs, continuing to cook and turn as needed for even browning. (I had 1 set of tongs for transferring the raw chicken and 1 set of tongs to turn the chicken while cooking.)
  10. The chicken is cooked when it is a deep golden brown, very crisp, and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion reads 165 degrees, about 9 minutes total.
  11. Transfer the cooked chicken to the prepared wire rack set over the lined baking sheet. Let it rest while you fry the remaining chicken pieces. Sprinkle with fine sea salt to taste, if desired.
  12. Transfer the fried chicken to a platter, garnish with the herb sprigs or chopped herbs. (Alternatively, the rosemary and thyme can be cooked in the hot oil for a few seconds before being used as a garnish.)
  13. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes:

  • The original recipe recommends cooking chicken breasts and wings at 340 degrees, if using instead of thighs or drumsticks.
  • If using bone-in skin-on chicken (the best meat-to-crust ratio is achieved using 2 1/2 to 3 pound whole chickens), let the pieces rest skin-side up. Modify the cooking time as needed to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees (about 12 minutes for thighs and drumsticks, 7 minutes for breasts, and 6 minutes for wings).
  • To reheat leftover fried chicken do not be tempted to use a microwave! Reheat uncovered, placed on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Roasted Chicken with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce over Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions

Ha! Milk Street Magazine published these two flavor-packed dishes on the same page so I served them together. We ate the chicken and rice with roasted cauliflower. Delicious. 🙂

The avocado-cilantro sauce was amazing and would compliment any meat or chicken. It was inspired by a standard accompaniment to grilled meats in Venezuela called guasacaca. The recipe was adapted from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Courtney Hill.

The rice was inspired by an everyday dish in Pakistan and India called jeera (or zeera) rice. The recipe was adapted from Made in India by Meera Sodha, via Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Dimitri Demopolous. The original recipe notes that it is ideal for pairing with any roasted or grilled vegetables or meat as well as with curries or dal.

To prepare these dishes together, I began by making the rice dish. While the rice cooked and rested, I prepared the chicken and the sauce.

For the Chicken & Avocado-Cilantro Sauce:

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10) OR 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR breasts OR a combination, trimmed and patted dry
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro OR flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped, to serve
  • 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 T white vinegar
  • optional garnish: Lime wedges OR crumbled queso fresco OR chopped pickled jalapeños OR a combination
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle position and another rack in the highest position. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
  2. On a foil or parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. (Using foil is a better choice if broiling the skinless meat after roasting.)
  3. If using skinless meat, arrange thighs “skin side down” and roast about 10 minutes. Flip over and roast an additional 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and adjust oven to the broil setting.
  4. Place pan on the top rack and broil to finish browning the meat, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Meat should reach an internal temperature of 165. (Alternatively, if using skin-on, bone-in meat: Arrange skin side up and roast until the thickest part of the breast (if using) reaches about 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches about 175°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the avocados, cilantro, jalapeño, onion, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a Vitamix which made the sauce incredibly creamy.)
  6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour over any accumulated juices. (If serving with cumin rice, plate chicken over the rice and pour over any accumulated juices.)
  7. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (or other optional garnishes listed above) and serve with the sauce.

For the Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions:

Yield: Serves 6

  • 3 T ghee OR salted butter, cut into 3 pieces, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • chopped fresh cilantro, to serve, optional
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt the ghee. (I used a 4-quart stainless steel pot.)
  2. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to start and more often once browning begins, until the onions are deeply caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes; reduce the heat if the onions brown very unevenly or too quickly.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the rice. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods to the browned onions; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the rice, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  7. Using a fork, fluff the rice; remove and discard the cardamom. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Greek Chicken with Cucumber-Feta Salad

I have two wonderful chicken and rice dishes to share. This dish was part of The New York Times’ List of The Best of 2022- I’m surprised that I missed it when it was first published. It was fresh, delicious, and can be enjoyed in every season. I prepared the chicken in a cast iron skillet on the stove, but it could also be grilled in warmer weather.

The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I omitted the olives and modified the method and proportions. I served the chicken over white Basmati rice with the cucumber salad and roasted broccoli on the side. Great.

Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
  • Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano or mint
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (about 10) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers (preferably Japanese, Persian or mini, seedless cucumbers)
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (I omitted them)
  • white or brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional (I used 2 cups of rice with 1 tsp salt)
  1. If serving chicken over rice, prepare the rice according to the package directions. (I used a rice cooker.)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer 1/2 cup of the yogurt to a medium bowl and reserve.
  3. Coat the chicken: To the large bowl, add the oregano and stir to combine. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken to the large bowl and turn to coat; set aside.
  4. Start the salad: Smash the cucumbers with the side of your knife until craggy and split. Rip into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a colander placed in the sink. Slice or chop the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Add to the cucumbers along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (It may seem like a lot of salt, but most will drain away.) Toss to combine and leave to drain.
  5. In a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
  6. Scrape excess marinade off the chicken, then cook the chicken in batches, adding oil to the pan if necessary, until it’s well browned and releases from the pan, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a splatter screen! Flip and cook until cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Transfer to plates to rest. (For grilling info, see Tip.)
  7. To the medium bowl of yogurt, add the feta and mash with a fork until a chunky paste forms.
  8. Shake the cucumbers and tomatoes to get rid of any excess moisture. Add to the feta yogurt along with the olives (if using) and stir until coated. The balance is dependent on your produce and feta, so season to taste with salt and pepper until flavors are vivid.
  9. Serve the chicken over rice with the cucumber-feta salad on the side.

Tip: To grill the chicken: Heat a grill to medium and clean and grease the grates. Grill the chicken over direct heat until it’s well browned and releases from the grates, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. (For a gas grill, close the lid between flips.)

Peruvian Stir-Fried Chicken & Noodles (TallarĂ­n Saltado)

This chicken and noodle stir-fry dish, tallarĂ­n saltado, is a classic Peruvian dish. According to Milk Street, simple stir-fry dishes like this are a staple of the Chinese-influenced cuisine known as chifa. Chifa cuisine combines South American and East Asian flavors and ingredients.

This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Malcolm Jackson. Jackson uses balsamic vinegar in place of the more traditional red wine vinegar and substitutes a jalapeño or Fresno chile for the ají amarillo chile that would be used in Peru. The dish was fresh, fast and fabulous. We loved it!

We ate the stir-fry with roasted broccoli- a strange combination- but it was ultimately a nice compliment. 🙂

Yield: Serves 6

  • 12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 T oyster sauce
  • 3 T light soy sauce
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 T grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5), trimmed and cut into 3/4 strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep all remaining ingredients.
  2. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. (I cooked my pasta for 5 minutes.)
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and vinegar; set aside.
  4. In a 14-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. (I used a stainless steel skillet.)
  5. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic, distributing the ingredients evenly, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until the chicken is well browned on the bottom and releases easily from the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. (See Tip)
  6. Add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the bell pepper and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are al dente, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Off heat, stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Place half of the stir-fry in a serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the cilantro. Repeat with the remaining stir-fry and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, as desired.

Tip: Don’t stir the chicken too soon after adding it to the skillet. Left undisturbed, it forms a fond, or browned bits that stick to the skillet. The dish’s flavor develops when the oyster sauce mixture deglazes that fond. After adding the pasta water, stir vigorously; this helps the sauce come together.

One-Pot Chicken & Biscuits

I have another tasty cast iron skillet dish to share. I made this one-pot (skillet) chicken pot pie for our Valentine’s Day dinner. ❤

This recipe was adapted from epicurious.com, contributed by Sahara Henry-Bohoskey. I loved how the biscuit topping was crumbled and scattered over the top. The filling bubbled over and oozed over the sides of the pan- I was very happy that I placed the skillet on a baking sheet in the oven! Next time I would garnish each serving with fresh herbs to add a pop of color.

The original recipe notes that 1/4 cup of aged cheddar or one teaspoon of dried thyme, parsley, or rosemary could be added to the biscuit topping, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

For the Biscuit Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
  • 6 T chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T heavy cream

For the Filling & To Assemble:

  • 1 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 1/4 to 1 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 4 or 5)
  • 1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 2 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium (5–8 oz) waxy potato (such as red), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, any leaves coarsely chopped and reserved, cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • flaky sea salt
  • fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

To Make the Biscuit Topping:

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine.
  2. Add chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and toss to coat.
  3. Work in butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add heavy cream and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms and no dry bits of flour remain.
  5. Chill 20 minutes. Do ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Cover tightly and keep chilled.

To Make the Filling & To Assemble:

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. (I set my oven to true convection.)
  2. Heat oil in a 10″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high.
  3. Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry. Season both sides with salt.
  4. Arrange chicken thighs in pan in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, 5–7 minutes. Turn over and cook until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. (Chicken will finish cooking through in the oven.)
  5. Transfer to a cutting board; let cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Reserve any accumulated liquid.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in pan (no need to clean).
  7. Add chopped onion, carrot, and salt; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add chopped potato, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper, and remaining tablespoon of unsalted butter. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  9. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables. Cook, stirring often, until flour coating is golden and nutty-smelling, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add white wine, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook until wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
  11. Add chicken stock or water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook until mixture is thickened a bit, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  12. Uncover pan and stir chicken and any accumulated juices, coarsely chopped celery leaves (if using), heavy cream, and peas into filling.
  13. Taste and season with more kosher salt if needed.
  14. Scatter pieces of dough over filling. Brush with cream and season with pepper and flaky sea salt.
  15. Place skillet on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and transfer to oven.
  16. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
  17. Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Thai Roast Chicken Thighs with Cabbage & Coconut Rice

Yes, it’s true… My husband and I could eat some sort of chicken and rice dish on a daily basis. This version was amazing!

This recipe was inspired by the rotisserie chicken from the now closed Uncle Boons in NYC where the chicken was roasted on rotating spits with heads of cabbage to catch all of the juices. The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Diana Yen. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of skin-on and bone-in.

I was able to incorporate my CSA cabbage in the dish- it was the impetus behind selecting the recipe. In this version, cabbage is used to line the skillet, allowing it to absorb all of the seasonings and pan drippings. I will definitely add this dish to my arsenal of favorite cabbage recipes to make in the future.

We ate the chicken and rice with roasted beets, kohlrabi, carrots, and fennel from my CSA share. I garnished the finished dish with CSA cilantro and served sautéed broccolini from my share on the side as well. A feast and a true celebration of my CSA box! 🙂

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1″ piece ginger, peeled with a spoon, finely grated, plus 3 peeled slices, divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 T fish sauce
  • 1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 medium head of green cabbage, stem trimmed, sliced into 1″-thick wedges
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 cup white jasmine or Basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
  • cilantro leaves with tender stems and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Whisk lime zest and juice, grated ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 T oil, 2 tsp pepper in a large bowl to combine.
  2. Set 1/4 cup marinade aside for serving.
  3. Place chicken in remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
  5. Generously brush cabbage wedges on both sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange, a cut side down, in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade and set, “skin side up,” on top of cabbage; season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 450° and continue to roast, rotating pan halfway through, until chicken thighs are browned and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes more, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  8. While the chicken is roasting, bring rinsed rice, ginger slices, remaining 1 cup coconut milk, remaining 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Fish out and discard ginger slices. Re-cover pan and let rice sit until ready to serve.
  9. Arrange chicken on a platter; drizzle with reserved marinade and top with cilantro leaves. Serve with coconut rice and lime wedges for squeezing over. (I served the chicken on individual plates over the coconut rice.)

Pepper Jelly-Glazed Grilled Chicken with Peppers

Trader Joe’s stocks their sweet and spicy pepper jelly in the fall for the holiday season- just in time for this quick and tasty weeknight meal.

This recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite,” contributed by Molly Stevens. I served the chicken and peppers over a bed of rice to absorb the drippings and grilled lime juice.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 limes
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds 5 ounces)
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 4 long green bell peppers (CSA), poblano, or Anaheim chiles (10 to 12 oz)
  • 10 to 12 shishito peppers (6 to 8 oz)
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly
  • Basmati rice, for serving
  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F).
  2. Cut limes in half. Squeeze 1 lime into a small bowl to equal 2 tablespoons juice; set juice aside and discard juiced lime halves.
  3. Sprinkle chicken all over with coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and red pepper flakes; rub evenly with 2 tablespoons oil. Set aside.
  4. Brush long peppers/poblano/Anaheim chiles, shishito peppers, scallions, and cut sides of remaining 4 lime halves evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  5. Whisk together pepper jelly and reserved 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small bowl.
  6. Arrange long peppers/poblano/Anaheim chiles, shishito peppers, scallions, and limes, cut side down, on un-oiled grill grates. Grill, uncovered, turning scallions often, chiles and peppers occasionally, and leaving limes undisturbed, until gently charred, 3 to 4 minutes for scallions and limes, 4 to 5 minutes for shishito peppers, and 6 to 8 minutes for chiles. (It took even longer on my grill to char the vegetables.)
  7. Transfer charred chiles, peppers, scallions, and limes to a baking sheet, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  8. Arrange chicken thighs on un-oiled grates; grill, covered, until nicely browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  9. Brush tops of chicken thighs generously with some of the pepper jelly glaze, and grill, uncovered, until glaze is sizzling, about 1 minute.
  10. Flip chicken, and repeat with second side. Remove chicken from grill.
  11. Place grilled chicken and vegetables on a platter over a bed of cooked Basmati rice.
  12. Squeeze grilled lime halves over chicken, chiles, peppers, and scallions.

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