Spicy Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs seasoned with crushed red pepper and star anise and braised in a sauce with tomatoes and red wine.


  • Herbie's Coriander Seeds (whole)  ·  1½ teaspoons 
  • Herbie's Star Anise Pod  ·  ¼ whole 
  • cracked black peppercorns  ·  1½ teaspoons 
  • crushed red pepper  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • kosher salt  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • chicken thighs  ·  8 whole 
  • canola oil  ·  ¼ cup 
  • large Spanish onion, thinly sliced  ·  1 whole 
  • large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced  ·  1 whole 
  • plum tomatoes, chopped  ·  2 whole 
  • thyme sprigs  ·  3 whole 
  • oregano sprigs  ·  3 whole 
  • Merlot dry red wine  ·  1 cup 
  • red wine vinegar  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • honey  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Chopped parsley and chives, for garnish  ·  1 tablespoon 


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, toast the coriander, star anise, cracked peppercorns and crushed red pepper over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool; pulse until coarsely ground. Add the salt. Rub the spices all over the chicken.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until deep golden, 10 minutes. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Pour off most of the oil from the skillet and add the onion and leek. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and oregano and cook until the tomatoes just begin to break down, 3 minutes. Add the red wine and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of water and pour the mixture into the roasting pan.

Cover the pan with foil and braise the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the sauce into a saucepan. Boil until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and honey; keep warm.

Preheat the broiler. Return the chicken to the roasting pan, skin side up, and broil 8 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Tango Malbec

Tango Malbec

Tango Malbec is a limited production single-varietal wine from a single Napa Valley vineyard.

Star Anise (whole)

Star Anise (whole)

Chinese star anise is one of the most beautiful and fragrant spices in the world. The dried, star-shaped fruit of this Oriental tree are called Star Anise because of their distinctive star shape.