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Chicken thighs should be more popular. The meat is much more flavorful than the white meat and almost always cooks up moist, which is not something you can say of chicken breast meat. Yes, the thigh is slightly more caloric than the breast, but I prefer it anyway.
This is a great weeknight recipe for the whole family—although you might want to decrease the amount of hot pepper flakes in the dipping sauce for the kids.
For the chicken:
8 large chicken thighs, about 2 1/2 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground toasted coriander seeds (see note)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the sauce:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Pinch hot red pepper flakes
To prepare the chicken, trim the thighs of excess fat and use a sharp knife to score. Cut through the skin, deep into the flesh, at 1/2-inch intervals. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cayenne, and curry powder together in a small bowl. Transfer to a large zippered plastic bag. Place the thighs in the bag and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. Shake the bag from time to time to distribute the marinade evenly.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thighs and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Pour off the fat, leave the thighs in the skillet, and transfer to the oven. Bake, uncovered, turning once, until a fork inserted near the bone easily enters the flesh, about 25 minutes.
To prepare the sauce, combine the peanut butter, hoisin, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and pepper flakes in a blender. Pour in 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth.
Arrange the thighs on a large warmed platter. Drizzle on a small amount of the sauce and serve the rest on the side.
Note: To toast the coriander seeds, spread them in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat stirring until they are deep brown and aromatic. Transfer to a plate to cool.
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