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I do love chicken wings and I’m fortunate to live just a few block from a spot, Walker’s, in Tribeca that has awesome, fire hot, sweat inducing wings. Before Buffalo wings were invented up in wonderful Buffalo, New York, chicken wings were scrap. You’d toss them in a pot to add to a stock, but I never ate them as a kid. We never cooked them. You’d cut up the chicken and toss the useless wings.

Now, wings are everywhere, but I still think their cardinal weakness remains: not enough meat. There is a reason you are served a plateful of wings. You need that many to get a decent meal.

Ah, but thighs are different. I don’t know when I became a thigh man. It may have been after I first saw the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but that’s probably a different story.

And boneless thighs are an ideal meal. Lots of meat in a just a few pieces. No gnawing around, no picking up that piece you chewed on minutes before to get a few more slivers of sustenance. No, thighs are where the action is.

Now, you can prepare them just like wings. Bake and then coat with Frank’s Hot Sauce. Or, you can have some fun and still achieve heat. These thighs are hot, sweet, and juicy all by themselves. You could add some Frank’s hot sauce on the side. Frank’s comes in several varieties. The Xtra Hot will erase all taste buds from your tongue. I used the Sweet Chili to reinforce the hot and sweet flavor of my own coatings.

This recipe does not need any salt or pepper. There is plenty of flavor in the flakes!

Brian’s Hot Thighs

Yield: 8 thighs, enough for 1-2 people depending on your craving


  • 1 cup onion flakes
  • ⅓ cup red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 8 thighs, washed and dried


Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

In a bowl, combine the onion flakes, red pepper flakes, sugar and garlic. Mix to combine.

Put the olive oil in a second bowl. One by one, dip a thigh in the olive oil, let it drip off, and then roll in the flakes to coat both sides. Place the thigh on the aluminum foil.

When you have finished with all the wings, take any leftover flakes and pat onto the thighs.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and serve.

Besides the Frank’s hot sauce, perfect accompaniments include sour cream or ranch dressing.

If this is a meal, then on the side some fresh corn or a bright salad is perfect.

Source: Potatoes: Brian O’Rourke