Memory fails as to where I obtained this take, but it’s been one of my go-to thigh recipes. The preparation yields the most succulent rendition with an intoxicating aroma permeating while cooking, due to the uncommon spice mixture. Here, aleppo pepper, Szechuan peppercorns, coriander seeds, star anise and subsequently herbs are showcased mixing Mediterranean with a definite Pan-Asian twist.



8-10 bone-in chicken thighs – remove from fridge at least 1 hour before cooking

1 TSP of Szechuan peppercorns

1 TSP of Aleppo pepper

½ star anise

¼ TSP allspice

1 medium Spanish onion

4-5 shallots – peeled and chopped into quarters

1 large ripe tomato – finely chopped

1 ½ TSP of whole coriander seeds

3 sprigs of fresh thyme – or ½ TSP dried

3 Oregano sprigs – or ½ TSP dried

1 TBSP of white balsamic vinegar

1 cup of red wine – such a Cabernet or Merlot

1 TBSP honey

Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Chopped parsley or chives for garnish


In a small skillet, without any oil, toast the coriander seeds, anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. Toast for about 1 minute till fragrant being careful not to burn the spices. Cool for a few minutes and add to a spice grinder – pulsing coarsely. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk together with allspice, Aleppo pepper and about ½ TSP of salt.

Rubs spices all over the chicken and allow to sit for about 1-2 hours in the fridge. Remove and allow it to come to room temp for about 1 hour before sautéing.

Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet and sear the thighs on both sides till golden brown. Transfer to a roasting pan, placing it skin side up.

Remove most of the oil from the skillet and add the chopped onion with the shallots and sweat for about 5 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add the oregano, thyme and the chopped tomato. Deglaze with the wine, scrapping any of the brown bits from the pan. Add the chicken stock and pour the mixture over the thighs in the roasting pan. Cover with foil tightly and braise for about 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and straining the sauce into a small sauce pan. Add the white balsamic vinegar and the honey and reduce for about 4-5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the thighs and serve with basmati rice or roasted potatoes and a green veg, such as Brussel sprouts or sautéed zucchini.

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