Chicken Lollipops with Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce

January 30, 2013

These finger lickin' chicken lollipops are perfect for any party, especially tailgates! They're Chef Aarón Sánchez's version of chicken wings, dreamed up with his colleague Alex Garcia from Food Network. Serve it with his Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce and you’re sure to have a crowd-pleaser!

Chicken Lollipops with Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce
6 Servings

Aarón’s Adobo (makes 1½ cups)
¼ cup cuminseeds
¼ cup corianderseeds
¼ cup fennelseeds
¼ cup yellow mustardseeds
2 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
½ cup dried whole oregano(preferably Mexican)
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
¼ cup Spanish paprika(pimento), preferably sweet or hot

Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce (makes 3 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, and deveined
1 large white onion, quartered
10 whole garliccloves, peeled
4 plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups strained tamarind pulp
 ½ cup brown sugar
½ cup Aarón’s Adobo

Chicken Lollipops
2 shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 onion, cut into large dice
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
2 bay leaves
12 peppercorns
 ¼ cup dried oreganoleaves
¾ cup white vinegar
1 ¼ cups salad oil
24 chicken wings, trimmed and sectioned, tip and 2-bone section reserved for stock, meat pushed down to expose the single bone making a drummette or lollipop
Flour, for dredging
Canola oil, for frying
Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce, for serving


Aaron's Adobo

Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds along with the pieces of pasilla and ancho chiles. Toast, stirring constantly, until it’s very aromatic and just beings to smoke, about 3 minutes.

Dump the mixture onto a plate and let it cool to room temperature. Grind it to a fine powder in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder.

Put the powder in a large bowl and add the oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir them really well to combine.

Store the adobo in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in a cool, dark place for up to a month.

Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Line a plate with paper towels.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to dance. Add the pasillas and fry on both sides until they’re puffed up, about 15 seconds total. Transfer the chiles to the paper towels to drain. Put them in a small bowl, pour in the boiling water, and let them soak until they’re soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve them and the soaking liquid separately.

Discard the oil and wipe the skillet clean. Set it back over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss the onion, garlic, and tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss gently, and put them in the hot skillet. Cook about 7 minutes on each side, until they’re charred, with visible black spots. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl and let them cool to room temperature.

Put the tamarind pulp, chiles, ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the roasted vegetables, brown sugar and Aarón’s Adobo in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

Chicken Lollipops

In a food processor, puree the shallots, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and oregano with the white vinegar.

Add the oil (do not puree, just mix in) and season with salt. Cover the chicken drummettes with the marinade. Marinate chicken, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours.

In a large size frying pan, heat 1-inch oil. Drain the chicken from the marinade. Dredge the chicken in flour, season with salt and pepper. Fry the drummettes until cooked through.

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