These bites of deliciousness are perfect for any sort of party, especially tailgates (or the Super Bowl!). They are my version of chicken wings, dreamed up with my colleague Alex Garcia from Food Network. Serve it with my Tamarind-Pasilla BBQ Sauce and you’re sure to have a crowd-pleaser.
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
- 2 shallots, peeled and trimmed
- 1 onion, cut into large dice
- 4 garliccloves
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 peppercorns
- ¼ cup dried oreganoleaves
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 1¼ 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Put the powder in a large bowl and add the oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir them really well to combine.
4. 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
1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Line a plate with paper towels.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
1. In a food processor, puree the shallots, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and oregano with the white vinegar.
2. 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.
3. 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.