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San Diego, CA


Our Favorite Recipes

Farmbird Lollipops

Farmbird Lollipops

farm bird lollipops + snakebite hot sauce

"From Come Early, Stay Late" cookbook by Brian Malarkey
Published by Chefs Press 2012
Photographs by Mike Pawlenty

serves 4 friends  |  as an app

When we first opened Searsucker, we had spicy chicken wings on the menu. People loved them, but we got lots of complaints that they were too messy. (Searsucker is a great date spot, but spicy chicken-wing fingers brings new meaning to the term “hot date!”) So I asked super-chef Shane to reinvent the chicken wing. He came up with his from-scratch chicken chorizo and he put it on the end of a stick — voila! Fun, unique, spicy, and perfect for the hygienically challenged!

[for the chicken chorizo]
2 pounds chicken thigh meat, ground

4 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
16 to 20 small wooden skewers

[for the blue cheese dipping sauce]
2 cups heavy cream

1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

[for the snakebite hot sauce]
4 habanero chiles, diced

4 serrano chiles, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, diced small
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons chipotle chiles in adobo
1 clove fresh garlic
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups piquillo peppers, diced

    [finishing touches]
    1  to 2 cups canola or vegetable oil, for frying
   2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with kosher
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper

   2 cups blue cheese, crumble
   Fresh chives, minced

[how to do it]

Chef’s notes: Piquillos are sweet Spanish peppers and are available at specialty food sources or online or you can substitute roasted red peppers. Also, your local butcher will be happy to grind up the chicken thighs for you.

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Make the chorizo: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients well. With an ice cream scoop or spoon, portion the chicken into balls and place on an oiled sheet tray. Skewer each chicken pop and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Make the dipping sauce: In a medium saucepot, bring the cream to a boil and remove from the heat. Whisk in all the other ingredients. Stir well to melt the cheese and combine. Allow to cool a bit, then refrigerate until needed.
4. Make the hot sauce: Sauté the habaneros and serranos in the oil until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients (except for the piquillos) and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to incorporate all the flavors. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the piquillo peppers. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a blender, purée until smooth, and set aside.5. Assemble the lollipops: In a deep fryer or medium skillet, heat the oil to hot (almost smoking). Roll the cooked chicken pops in the seasoned flour and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
6. To serve: Dip the fried chicken pops into the hot sauce, sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and fresh chives, and serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.