Juicy chicken thighs with a layer of golden crispy skin with a sauce made from Guajillo chilis with fresh orange and tequila.
Have you ever been out at a restaurant and tasted something so fantastically delicious, you were determined to recreate it at home? This dish evolved from a similar circumstance. You can credit/blame a particularly excellent salsa that was sampled in Mexico for the inspiration. This salsa is earthy, gentle in heat but complex in layers of interesting flavors. It deserves to be paired with more than just a tortilla chip! In fact, it deserves to be drizzled beneath a juicy chicken thigh. Not just any thigh, but one crowned with audibly crisp skin.
As obsessed as I am with the sauce, the real reason you need to make this dish are the thighs. Simple instructions and a quick cook time make these chook-legs even more enticing. By placing them in the skillet skin side down, you allow the fat to render from beneath the skin, while developing a gorgeous brown glow. A quick 10 minute finish in a hot oven is all these babies need – and if you’re worried about over or undercooking, rest assured that all you need is a good quality meat thermometer to know when your yardbird has hit 163f. You should actually own one of those Thermapens for all meat cookery anyway – it’s the single most important tool in a carnivores arsenal.
A note about the ingredients of the sauce: guajillo chiles are essential for the base – they have the perfect balanced of mild heat and bright color. If you don’t live in an area where they are easily accessible, fret not because you can get them online. Agave nectar is the sweet ingredient to balance and round out the salsa, but if you don’t have it, you can use the same amount of sugar. Just make sure it’s properly dissolved so you’re sauce isn’t gritty. Finally, an optional but highly recommended ingredient is my Hardcore Carnivore: Amplify seasoning. Made from chicken fat powder, it’s gives a big savory umami boost to your dishes. You can also use it on popcorn, fries, ribs, chicken… I guarantee you’ll find a way to use up the rest of the bottle.