These are scrumptious, with a fresh, clean spicy punch, and tender and succulent. Utterly irresistible.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with ½ tsp salt 1-3 dried bird’s eye chillies, crushed 3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and finely chopped 1 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp crushed black or white peppercorns ½ tsp allspice 600-700g (about 1½ lb) chicken nibbles (first and second wing joints, not the tips) Lillie’s Q Gold Barbeque Sauce 1 Tbsp olive oil Approximately ¾ cup water Lemon wedges to serve
1 Mix garlic, chillies, lime leaves, ground ginger, crushed peppercorns and allspice in a bowl. Add chicken nibbles and turn with tongs until evenly covered with the rub (or massage in with the fingers). Cover and leave at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate for 3-4 hours (bring to room temperature before cooking).
2 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Mix in 1 tablespoon each Gold Sauce and olive oil and ¼ cup water. Transfer to a shallow heavy-based ovenproof dish (don’t use a china dish as it slows cooking; use a metal one). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn nibbles over. There should still be a little liquid in the dish – if not, add 2-3 tablespoons of water.
3 Return chicken to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Turn nibbles over again and add ¼ cup water. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken nibbles are a deep golden brown and cooked through, adding more water if required to prevent scorching.
I used 3 home-grown dried bird’s eye chillies when I made these for the photograph, and it nearly blew my head off. It was exhilarating though! In the past, 2-3 dried chillies has been perfect. Up to you how many you use!
Adding water in the beginning helps create a little steam to cook the chicken, then once cooking momentum builds, you need to keep the dish moist – but don’t swamp the chicken or you will make a stew. You need just a little liquid in the dish to prevent the rub from burning but not so much to hinder browning.
Lillie’s Q Gold Barbecue Sauce, (one of a range of superior American barbecue sauces recently imported into New Zealand) is available from specialty stores but substitute your favourite barbecue sauce if not available. (Not a typo, the American spelling has a q in barbecue and in New Zealand we use a c, although we abbreviate barbecue to BBQ not BBC, for obvious reasons).