My old high school/college buddy, Dave, wrote to me the other day to ask if I had heard of this recipe. He had seen it published in the NY Times and had been cooking it pretty much non-stop ever since. Declaring it his favorite recipe of 2013, he went on to tell me that the dish was better than any "illicit drugs the 80s offered" (not that he or I had any direct experience with said drugs, it was more a figure of speech).
As I have never really been a fan of anchovies I was a bit skeptical, but this is a Melissa Clark recipe, and as a huge fan of hers I told Dave I'd give it a whirl "as written" so that I could experience the full "crack" effect of the dish as he described it. The good news (for me) is that the anchovies completely dissolve in the sauce and leave no discernible fishy flavor. They undoubtedly contribute a richness to the sauce and to the briney flavor imparted by the capers that along with the sweetness of the roasted garlic and the acid from the lemon juice make this a seriously delicious dish.
In as little as 30 minutes you can have this flavor bomb of a dish on your table. Serve it up with some roasted veggies and your favorite spuds and you'll find that you're running head-on into a new food addiction yourself. Nothing illicit here though, enjoy the high.
Cheers – Steve
- 5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 5 anchovy filets
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and patted dry
- 1 large pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, halved
- fresh chopped parsley, for serving
- Heat oven to 350℉. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and let rest while you prepare the anchovy-garlic oil. Mince one garlic clove and set it aside for later. In a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the 5 smashed garlic cloves, the anchovies, capers and chili. Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies, until the garlic browns around the edges and the anchovies dissolve, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the thighs, place the pan in the oven and cook another 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- When the chicken is done, transfer the thighs to a plate (be careful, as the pan handle will be hot). Place the skillet back on the heat and add the minced garlic and the juice of half of the lemon. Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and cook in the sauce for another 30 seconds.
- Transfer everything to a serving platter. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve