As our adventure on the grill continues, I thought I’d share a very creative way to do chicken lollipops. If you’re not familiar with chicken lollipops, it’s basically the way the drumette of the wing is shaped to give the appearance of our favorite kid candy, lollipops. With that in mind I decided to make a rub to marinate the chicken lollipops in, using ingredients we would normally use on a daily basis on the islands. The slight heat and smokiness from the paprika, combined with fresh herbs and the earthy goodness of good Caribbean curry powder will certainly make this a go-to dish as you spark up your grill and invite friends over.
1 tablespoon curry powder (madras)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rum
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
Note: Traditionally the drum part of the chicken wings are used to make the lollipop shape, but I used actual chicken drumsticks. More meat and much cheaper than purchasing chicken wings. I used a madras blend curry powder originating from the Caribbean.. just my preference.
The very first thing we need to do is to shape the lollipops (see the video below). Grab the thin end of the drumstick firmly, then carefully cut through the meat surrounding the bone, using a sawing motion and turning the thing around. Don’t try to force it, let the knife do the work. Once the skin is cut all around, use your knife to scrape down the meat from the bone. You may need to cut through a couple of sinews. Push the meat down to the other end. You should now have what looks like a handle with a ball of chicken meat at one end. * Be sure to look out for the tiny long bone which will be close to the main bone of the drumstick. It can prick you.. try to cut that out. In the pic below you’ll see 4 stages of me doing the lollipop thing. BTW, I removed the skin first.
With all my drumsticks now shaped into chicken lollipops, I washed it with lime juice (you can use lemon juice or vinegar as well) and rinse with cool water. Drain and set aside for marinating.
It’s now time to make the marinade… combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and give it a good whisk.
Pour the marinade over the trimmed and shaped chicken pieces and give it a good mix (get your hands in there). Now cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour (try not to go beyond 3 hrs). Then bring back to room temperature while your grill heats up.
The next step is pretty straight forward, as you’ll just grill as you normally grill chicken. My grill was about 375 degrees and I pretty much cooked them for about 25-30 minutes. Rotating them every 4-5 minutes and basting with the leftover marinade in the bowl I marinated them in.
As they cook and the heat of the grill intensifies, you’ll start getting that lovely aroma of the marinade… especially the curry powder! Do keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook and dry out. But be sure to get some grill marks on them to really intensify the rich flavors we infused them with.
There’s no need for any BBQ sauce on these or you’ll destroy all the work you did to create that lovely exotic flavor from the curry powder, spices and herbs. However, the tamarind bbq sauce I shared with you a couple weeks back would make for an excellent dipping sauce for these chicken lollipops. Here’s a video on how simple it is to make that lovely tamarind bbq sauce…
Here’s the complete video from preparation to the completed curry chicken lollipops for you to follow along…
This one is a hit on a Sunday morning whenever my mom visits (yup…a heavy brunch type dish on a Sunday). Our girls claim that only my mom can make this to their liking. Plus we get her to make roti for us, since I’m clueless when it comes to anything involving flour. The best combination for this is obviously paired with roti, but you can’t go wrong topping rice with this thick and savory dish… as I did in the pics below.
Note: I mentioned above that we usually enjoy this as a brunch dish, but you’re not limited as to when you can enjoy this. Most people I know treat this as course for dinner or big lunch.
Tip! If you live in a country that experiences winter and your house is locked up during those months and you’re concerned about that pungent scent that cooked curry seems to leave back (especially on your clothes), you have a few options…
- burn a scented candle during and after the cooking process
- ventilate (open a window or turn on the exhaust fan above your stove)
- place a stick of cinnamon in some water and simmer on the stove
- bake some cookies after
3 lbs chicken cut into pieces (I like using legs with back attached – dark meat)
1 tablespoon curry powder (your choice)
1/2 teaspoon geera (ground cumin)
1/4 piece of habanero pepper (you control the heat by the amount of pepper you use)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1 teaspoon green seasoning mix.
3-4 leaves of shado beni (chopped) or 3 chopped tablespoon of cilantro.
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed/chopped)
1 medium tomato (chopped)
2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (or vinegar)
2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable)
2 medium potatoes (peeled / sliced into chunks)
2 cups water
Start by washing the chicken pieces with the lime or lemon juice and water (not the water mentioned in the recipe). Then start seasoning by adding all the ingredients mentioned above, except the oil, potato and water. Allow this to marinate for a couple hrs for best results. Feel free to cook immediately if you’re in a rush.
On high heat, in a saucepan (with a lid) add the oil and wait until you start seeing gentle smoke. Try fishing out the pieces of onion and garlic from the marinated chicken and add to the now hot oil.
Allow this to cook for about 2-3 minutes (you’ll notice that other recipes will ask that you cook the curry powder – I don’t), then start adding the seasoned pieces of chicken. Move everything around so it gets in contact with the heated oil. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes. After about 8 minutes you’ll notice that the chicken released some natural juices – lets turn up the heat and get rid of that.
As you wait for the liquid to cook down, peel and dice the potatoes. Place it into the same bowl that the chicken was sitting in. When the liquid that was released is gone, add the potato pieces and stir around. Pour the 2 cups of water into the same bowl and try to get any remaining seasoning that was left behind.
After you’ve added and moved the pieces of potato around the pot a bit, add the water and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow this to cook for about 20 minutes or so. The goal is to have tender pieces of potato (melt and thicken the sauce) and a rich-thick sauce. If there’s still a lot of liquid left after the 20 minutes, using the back of your spoon, smash a few pieces of the potato. This will help thicken the gravy/sauce.
FYI. Just about everyone I know practices a different technique in cooking curry dishes, so feel free to use this a a base for your own unique version. Be sure to taste for salt in the event you need to add some. In the unlikely event there’s too much salt, add a sliced tomato and cook for a few minutes. It will absorb some of the extra salt.
Please leave me your comments below and share this with your friends.