This was a recipe I was dying to make. It’s one of the first I’ve made from the newest Nigella Lawson cookbook, “Kitchen.” She’s brilliant and I truly believe we have the same taste buds. I always get excited about cooking her recipes!
The Dragon Chicken is actually meant to be an appetizer and meant to be made with chicken wings, but I opted to use drumsticks because that’s what I had in the freezer. My Other Half likes drumsticks better anyway.
- 5 long red chillies, de-seeded and halved
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and core removed
- 2 x 8cm pieces fresh ginger (approx. 90g total), peeled and cut into small chunks
- 2 x 15ml tablespoons sea salt flakes or 1 tablespoon pouring salt
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 80ml garlic oil
- 80ml vegetable oil
- 20 chicken wings, whole approx.
- 3 x 15ml tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Process the chillies, red pepper, ginger, salt,
- vinegar and the 2 oils in a food processor and whiz until smooth. You can at this point leave your chicken wings to marinate in a freezer bag coated in the chilli sauce for up to 24 hours if you want – or for 2 days if you omit the salt and add this later. Otherwise tip out the sauce over the chicken wings onto a shallow-sided foil-lined roasting tray or lipped baking sheet – don’t use a high-sided tin, or the wings will braise rather than roast.Make sure all the wings are coated in the chilli-flecked sauce, and then roast for 40 minutes. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and sprinkle with some coriander.
- Adapted from Nigella Lawson
The ingredients were all things I had laying around, except the cilantro (my favourite herb) and the hot long red chillies (also known as peppers.) The regular grocery stores often don’t have them – they have jalapenos but not the exact type of red peppers Nigella asks for in the recipe. So I had to venture to Nicastro’s, my very favourite little Italian grocer, to get them. Nicastro’s can be pricey, but I guarantee they have ever hot pepper, mushroom, herb or cheese you’ll ever need. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly and most of their produce is local (or as local as you can get.) The long hot red peppers I got, incidentally, are Ontario-grown! Who knew Ontario grew hot peppers? I’d always assumed hot things were grown in hot places, like Mexico and Jamaica. But you know what they say about assuming…
I really want to emphasize one thing about this recipe: do not skip out on the cilantro. I am a lazy person and often of the belief that garnishes can be skipped, but in the case, do not. The hot and fiery chicken is complimented by the sweet cilantro. Definitely a must-keep garnish.
And once again, I cannot brag and rant about my food processor enough. My KitchenAid food processor is probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given – I use it all the time. It normally retails for around $130 (roughly… I’ve seen it for much more, too. Mine is the 7-cup processor, not the 14), but I saw it early last December while shopping with my grandfather for $89 and insisted he give it to me for Christmas. He still marvels on how excited I was about it, saying “You’d think I’d given her a Cadillac!”
I would also suggest marinating the chicken in the sauce/paste. I only did for about 3 hours, and I wish I’d marinated them longer (overnight, preferably.) But as Nigella says, they really do “breathe fire” and are an excellent appetizer or main protein dish.