Spicy, Saucy Chicken

December 10, 2015

Author Notes: The dish was born of a craving for something saucy and spicy, combined witha strong desire not to go to the grocery store. It is best described as a kind of Mexican/Asian fusion (and also insanely delicious.) It feels so right wrapped in a tortilla, ladled over rice, or just eaten with a spoon.

A note on spiciness: 1 tablespoon of sriracha was the perfect amount for my weak ability to handle and enjoy the sensation of a burning mouth. If you’re a person who enjoys some serious kick, add more to taste.

Serves: 4


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skins removed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
In This Recipe


  1. In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Once the pot’s hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 8 minutes, or until the onion starts to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and cumin and fry for a minute. Then, add the water, tomato paste, paprika, chicken, sriracha, black pepper, and another pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower it immediately to a very faint simmer (the water should be just barely moving). Cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes, turning the chicken from time to time.
  3. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it to a cutting board. Tear or cut the meat away from the bone, and set aside.
  4. Bring the pot back up to a boil, and reduce the liquid by half. Then, taste and correct for salt and spiciness (feel free to add a splash of cream if it’s too spicy) and add the chicken back in.
  5. Serve over rice, stuff into tortillas, burritos, or eat it straight!

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