ALEPPO PEPPER CHICKEN THIGHS
The only time I eat fried chicken is in a Cuban or soul food restaurant. At home we eat an easier, less messy, and healthier version of fried chicken. It takes a bit of time - think low and slow heat - to get the skin just right, but it would be difficult to find a simpler, juicier technique. Aleppo pepper is a fruity, mild, Middle Eastern spice that tastes akin to sun dried tomatoes with just enough heat to add a subtle kick to the chicken. Look for it in any Armenian, Turkish, or Syrian grocery store.
Nota bene: A handful of golden raisins plumped in hot water and tossed on top of a simple salad, or thrown into some basmati rice, compliments the Aleppo pepper seasoned chicken perfectly.
1. Trim off any excess fat from the thighs leaving only a nice piece of skin on top.
2. Heat the butter and the oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat.
3. Generously salt the front and back of each thigh and place thigh skin side down in the skillet (be careful—the butter and oil pop and sputter).
4. When the thighs are in the skillet, sprinkle the undersides with a bit of Aleppo pepper.
5. Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes, or until the skin is a deep gorgeous brown.
6. Carefully turn the thighs over and cook until the juices run clear, about 5 minutes.
7. Remove the cooked thighs and place on a wire baking rack to drain (put paper towels underneath).
8. While the thighs are draining, sprinkle with more Aleppo pepper and a few grinds of black pepper.
12 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee (no other it will burn)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper