Chicken Thighs Fra Diavolo

An Italian classic courtesy of Red Hen chef Michael Friedman.

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This is an oldie but goodie from the annals of Italian cooking, updated with a modern twist. The oranges add a nice acidity, while the chilies bring some heat.


Serves 4 to 6

The Chef Behind the Recipe

Michael Friedman, executive chef at the Red Hen in Bloomingdale, has earned accolades for his Italian-influenced cuisine; with fresh ingredients and seasonal menu options, it’s the sort of modern comfort food that families crave.

For the Fra Diavolo Marinade:

1 red bell pepper

2 red jalapeños

6 garlic cloves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chili flakes

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Juice and zest of 2 oranges


In a food processor, add the bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic cloves, and oil. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the chili flakes, black pepper, smoked paprika, orange zest, and orange juice. Mix well with a whisk and refrigerate until needed.

Chef’s Leftover Tip

“Take the leftover chicken off the bone, shred into an Italian-style Cobb salad, with Gorgonzola cheese, crispy pancetta, and a zesty vinaigrette.”

For Chicken Thighs:

10 to 12 chicken thighs, skin on

2 cups fra diavolo marinade, above

Combine chicken thighs and marinade in a plastic container. Cover and carefully shake until the chicken is completely coated. Let sit at least three hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In an oven-proof baking dish, cook chicken for 45 minutes, until the top has a golden crust and the juices run clear when pierced.

Note: if you have a thermometer, chicken is ready at 165 degrees.

Serve with a simple salad or roasted kale with lemon.