Black Peppercorn and Coriander Chicken

, from Issue #55. March, 2016
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Black Peppercorn and Coriander Chicken

Peppery and herbaceous (and perhaps not for the faint-hearted), this is an addictive combination when paired with the dipping sauce.

Serves: 4


10 chicken drumsticks
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped roughly
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander root or stalk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup caster sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon sea salt
1½ teaspoons chilli flakes

To serve
lime wedges



Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the garlic, peppercorns, salt and coriander root in a large mortar and pound to make a fine paste, ensuring there are no large pieces of peppercorn remaining. Stir in the sugar, fish sauce and oil to make a thick paste.

Slash the chicken twice in the thickest part of the drumstick. Place in a large shallow dish and pour over the spice paste. Rub into the chicken, ensuring some of it goes into the slashes. The chicken can be covered and refrigerated for 24 hours at this point.

To cook: Place the chicken on an oven tray lined with baking paper and cook for 30–35 minutes, turning occasionally and spooning over any paste left on the tray. The chicken is cooked through when you pierce the thickest part of the drumstick and the juices run clear.

Sauce: Put the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic, salt and chilli flakes. Cool.

To serve: Serve with a bowl of the hot and sweet dipping sauce, lime wedges and coriander.