RECIPE

Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata

Mario Batali has shared this delicious recipe for juicy chicken thighs with us from his book, Italian Grill!


These chicken thighs are coated with a garlicky breadcrumb mixture and cooked slowly over the cooler part of the grill so that you end up with juicy meat and a toasted herbed crust (be sure to scoop up all of the delightful little clumps of flavorful crumbs from the grill and scatter them over the chicken). Start the thighs boned-side down so that by the time you flip them over, the “presentation side” will have dried a bit and won’t stick to the grill. The snap peas are good with almost anything – in this particular pairing, the subtle flavor of the anchovy paste in the peas echoes the anchovies in the breadcrumb coating.

Ingredients

  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed and patted dry or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 shallots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 pound snap peas, blanched in boiling water just until bright green, then chilled in an ice bath and drained
  • Olio Piccante (recipe follows) for drizzling

For the Olio Picante (Spicy Oil): makes about 1 1/2 cups (the yield is less than the amount of oil you start with because the seasonings, which are discarded, absorb part of it). Drizzle this over grilled vegetables, seafood pastas or pizza and grilled bread.

  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 jalapeño peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

Preparation

First, make the Olio Picante (Spicy Oil): in a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, jalapeños, pepper flakes and paprika and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the oil (and flavorings) into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

As soon as the oil is cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Strain the oil and keep refrigerated until ready to use. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar for up to 10 days – no longer.

Continue to make the Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata: combine the garlic, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the anchovies, parsley and breadcrumbs in a food processor and zap until fairly smooth.

Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat well. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a platter and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.


Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a 10-12-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and anchovy paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring regularly, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the peas to a platter and set aside.

Place the chicken thighs skinned-side up on the cooler part of the grill, cover the grill and grill, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes per side.

Arrange the thighs on top of the beans and serve with a drizzle of Olio Picante.

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Rachael Ray