The only trouble with good peri-peri chicken is that you will find it difficult to break the fiery addiction. These will become a firm family favourite.
- 12 free-range chicken drumsticks
- 12 toothpicks
- Peri-Peri Rub
- salt and pepper
- To serve, 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Peri-peri Marinade
- 2 red peppers, charred, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 18 plum tomatoes
- 8 – 10 bird’s eye chillies seeds in, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 Tbsp (60 ml) Peri-Peri rub
- 4 Tbsp (60 ml) sugar
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) paprika
- 1 C (250 ml) white vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and black pepper to taste
Prepare the chicken lollipops by cutting off the small end of the drumstick (use the heel of a large knife); push the meat and skin forward to expose the bone. Nip off any exposed tendons with a pair of kitchen scissors. Using a toothpick, secure the skin at the top end of the drumstick, to prevent it shrinking and coming off while cooking. Once the lollipops are ready, put them in a roasting pan and season liberally with the peri-peri rub, cracked salt and black pepper.
Start by charring the skin of the red peppers – this can be done on the braai or over the open flame of a gas stove. Once the skin is charred, put the peppers in a plastic bag, or a bowl covered with cling wrap. This will allow the peppers to sweat and make the charred skin easier to peel off. Once peeled, roughly chop the peppers.
Put all the ingredients into a blender, (or use a hand blender) and whizz everything to create the marinade. Put the peri-peri marinade into a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering preheat the oven to 180 °C. When the sauce is finished, baste the lollipops and place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes.
Finish the lollipops on the braai over a medium heat. Baste with the marinade every time you turn and build up that lekker caramelised peri-peri crust.
Finish the chicken lollipops with a squeeze of fresh lemon, serve with your favourite Portuguese rolls and dig in.