Main Meals

Chilli-vinegar chicken

15 minutes, plus 1 hour’s marinating time
1 hour

“This tasty marinade ticks all the boxes: it’s hot, sour in the best way, and so juicy. As with most things I love to eat, this one’s also good for braaiing. And I’ve done my play on jollof by switching it up with buckwheat instead of rice – add fried plantain and it’s a party!”

Wine/Spirit Pairing
Paul Clüver Riesling

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  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 6 red chillies, seeded
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt, to taste
  • oil, for frying
  • 12 free-range chicken drumstick
  • fried plantain, for serving
  • For the buckwheat jollof:
  • 8 T canola oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T medium curry powder
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 4 T chicken or vegetable stock powder, dissolved in 1 1⁄2 cups hot water
  • 200 g buckwheat, rinsed

1. To make the chicken, place the vinegar, sugar, chillies, peppers, garlic and salt in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour over the drumsticks and marinate for an hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a griddle pan and add the oil. Fry the chicken for 7 minutes on each side until char lines appear, then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 12 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Set aside until ready to serve.

3. To make the jollof, heat 4 T oil in a saucepan. Place half the onions, the red pepper, garlic, chilli and tomatoes in a blender. Season and add the sugar. Blend until a smooth sauce forms.

4. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and fry the remaining onion, the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the curry powder and fry until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and fry for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

5. Add the tomato-and-pepper sauce and simmer until the sauce appears to split. Stir and simmer gently over a low heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

6. Add 1 cup stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Stir in the buckwheat and cover the surface of the jollof with greaseproof paper and a lid. Turn the heat all the way down and cook for 20–25 minutes. If the buckwheat is not cooked all the way, add half the reamining stock. Steam the buckwheat until cooked all the way through. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve warm, with the chicken and fried plantain if you like.

Cook's note: This recipe calls for drumsticks but you could cook a whole bird. Just remember to increase the cooking time to 45 minutes.

Photograph: Toby Murphy
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food assistant: Estee Skein

Find more chicken recipes here.

Khanya Mzongwana

Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana

If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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