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Crispy chicken thighs with Guajillo, Orange & Tequila

Crispy chicken thighs with Guajillo, Orange & Tequila

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  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Yield: serves 8



8 guajillo chiles

1 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon Hardcore Carnivore Amplify (optional)

1/4 cup tequila

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon agave nectar/syrup

2 tablespoon oil

8 chicken thighs

salt & pepper to taste


  1. To make the sauce:
  2. De-stem and de-seed the dried chilis. In a dry (no-oiled) skillet or comal over medium heat, toast the chiles for 30 seconds on each side until fragrant. Place chilis in bowl and cover with boiling water, let stand 25 minutes.
  3. Drain chilis, discarding the water, and place into a blender. Add garlic, Amplify, and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Blend until it turns into a smooth paste.
  4. For a super smooth and velvety sauce, pass this paste through a sieve or chinois, and discard the skins. This step is optional.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pot over medium high heat. Add chili paste, and cook for 5-7 minutes. The color will deepen slightly and the spice level will mellow. Add in tequila, orange juice and the rest of the chicken stock. Stir and then lower flame to a gentle simmer. Reduce sauce until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15-20 minutes. Taste and add salt as required.
  6. Preheat an oven to 400f.
  7. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Pat the chicken thighs with paper towel, and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  8. Once the oil is shimmering, place the thighs in the pan skin side down. Cook for 8-10 minutes until skin is well browned and the fat is rendered. Flip thighs over, then place skillet into hot oven. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so, until they reach an internal temperature of 163f.
  9. To serve, spoon some sauce onto a plate then nestle a thigh on top. By keeping the sauce underneath, you avoid making the crispy skin soggy.