Monday, 11 April 2016

Chilli chicken drumsticks with basil

Something that really pisses me off is when you get a recipe and try it out, following it to the letter, then it doesn't work or, worse, turns out to be crap. Often it's a recipe from a book from a really trendy chef, some currently hot restaurant or some newspaper column. You think "that sounds good, I'll give it a go" then you try it and you find the dough has the consistency of mayonnaise or the potatoes have the qualities of marbles or the chicken is still raw in the middle. It's the equivalent of really looking forward to a film and it turning out to be Batman and Robin. It's essentially epicurean premature ejaculation

I don't understand how this can be the case. The recipes must have been tested a few times before writing them up. Is it because the flour wasn't bought in the right pissing souk in Marrakech? Perhaps the aubergines weren't twatting organic enough? Maybe the cow was a fucking Capricorn and needed to be a Gemini. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it gets on my tits not being able to rely on a recipe from a respected and/or trendy source.

This recipe is a good example of this. The original version of this involved stir-frying the chicken drumsticks until cooked. It took ages and you can't tell exactly when the fucking things are cooked. On the plus side, it's a great way to start slimming, since salmonella will make the weight drop off you.

So I added the idea of having the drumsticks in the oven to part-cook them before adding them to the pan. It's a really easy recipe and tastes fantastic, despite having no really fancy ingredients, with the sauce being ready-made dipping chilli sauce.

6-8 chicken drumsticks (depends on the size, enough for two people), skinned,
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
Black pepper
1 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 or 5 spring onion diagonally cut into 5cm lengths
2 assorted peppers of any colour (though at least one should be a sweeter re/orange or yellow one), cut into thin strips
1carrot cut into matchsticks
3 tbsp sweet chilli dipping sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry
pinch dried chilli flakes
handful of fresh basil leaves (20 or so)

Make deep slashes diagonal to the bone in the drumsticks

Put them in a bowl and add the light soy and black pepper

Using a basting brush, coat the drumsticks well with the soy and pepper working it into the cuts

Cover, place in the fridge and allow to marinate a couple of hours or so

 To marinate

Heat the oven to 200 and cook the drumsticks for 10minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok and add the part-cooked drumsticks and gently cook them over 20 minutes, constantly keeping them moving.

Cut into one of the drumsticks to ensure it's cooked through.

Add the garlic, spring onions, peppers, chilli flakes and carrot and keep stirring for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add the chilli sauce and sherry and allow to heat until bubbling while coating the ingredients.

Stir in the basil leaves just before serving

Serve with rice, preferably egg-fried.

I don't know what nationality this is supposed to be. Thai? Chinese? Whatever, the basil adds a really different twist to your usual stir fries.

Another deviation I do in this from the original is that demands you deep fry the basil leaves before adding them to the dish at the end. I'm too mean to waste the oil this requires, and it tastes just as good

The marination of chicken in soy sauce and pepper really adds some flavour to what would otherwise be fairly bland chicken. I do this any time I do a Chinese chicken dish, as was the case on my chicken chow mein. It's great for any old bog-standard stir fry.

Chilli sauce in the recipe is something like this:


  1. This looks freaking delicious! Sometimes, mom's need to swear too... :P Your blog is going on the top of my list.
    Oh and it looks maybe more like Thai. Whatever, it looks good.

    1. Thanks Krysten. I'm glad you like it

  2. Chilli Chicken and I am sold... I love that dish and my favorite is the Indo Chinese version. I wonder how it tastes with basil.

    1. Thanks. It's so simple as well

  3. Chilli Chicken and I am sold... I love that dish and my favorite is the Indo Chinese version. I wonder how it tastes with basil.

  4. You had me at chilli chicken... lovely recipe, thank you for sharing,

    1. Your welcome. Thanks for visiting :)

  5. Really enjoyed how you wrote this up. The recipe looks fun too

    1. Thanks. It's a great, reliable dish and the basil adds a nice twist

  6. Oh, my!!! It looks so good that I would love to dig in it right now.

  7. Sounds like a lot of good flavor here!

  8. Yep I have come across horrible printed recipe. Glad you found a way to make this one a winner.

    1. Annoying, ain't it? Still it gives us a chance to make a recipe our own LOL

  9. I must say I love your writing style! Agreed...I hate when the recipe reads nothing like its supposed to turn out. Especially if I bought something that the recipe doesn't call for or it doesn't tell you how to use an ingredient. Grrr! Sounds like you totally made this recipe work out for you though. :)

    1. Thanks. I admit suppose it's a bit of and idiosnycratic style. I just hope it's amusing and informative as well as a god recipe :)

  10. Haha! Love your writing style, all that cussing has me feeling like I am back in a commercial kitchen. Lol! Great recipe too. PS: Name and shame the sh!t outta the person who wrote the original recipe, stir frying chicken drumsticks... Pulease!

  11. I am so with you on this one! I just baked something that called for 200g of chocolate and needed only 20! How is that for a typo :)

  12. Great write up! I will try this recipe out for sure.