Chicken Thighs ‘Fra Diavolo’

By:Michael Friedman

This is an old Italian-American dish that I’ve translated into a more modern version. The orange adds a great acidity and citrus note to the dish, while the fiery chilis still manage to do their job.

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 ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 2 oranges


  1. Place bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic cloves, and olive oil into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Start machine and slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 2 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Transfer blended mixture to a bowl. Add chili flakes, black pepper, paprika, orange zest, and orange juice. Mix well with a whisk and refrigerate until needed.

For the Chicken Thighs:

  • 10-12 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 cups Fra Diavolo marinade


  1. Place chicken thighs and marinade in a plastic storage container and secure the lid. Carefully shake until the chicken thighs are completely coated. Refrigerate at least three hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F. 
  3. Place chicken thighs in an oven-proof baking dish and cook for 45 minutes, or until meat reaches 165° F, the top has a golden crust and the juices run clear when pierced. Serve with a simple salad or roasted kale with lemon.