Well, I couldn’t resist.
I had to try a little bit of the wicked ghost pepper powder that I made
a few days ago.
It’s funny. Normally, when describing a recipe, I might say, use a tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of that but, when it comes to ghost pepper, I think much smaller.
As an example, here is the rub that I used for two large
chicken breasts, before breading and frying them.
1 ½ Tbs dried onion flake (crushed into a powder)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbs salt
2 tsp Tajin seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ghost pepper powder
If I did the math right, the amount of ghost pepper in the
spice mix is about 13%. At first thought,
13% doesn’t sound like much but, when that 13% is ghost pepper, it’s impressive. The curious thing is, when I use a spicy rub
on chicken, prior to frying, much of the spiciness diminishes during the
cooking process. So, even though this
was a robust amount of ghost pepper, the spice rub didn’t make the chicken
However, the sauce that I prepared for the chicken bumped up the heat, just enough to make me grin with satisfaction.
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs sriracha sauce
2 Tbs Louisiana hot sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp ghost pepper powder
See the difference in the ratio of ghost powder in the rub compared to the sauce?
The total amount of sauce is about ½ cup and the amount of ghost pepper powder in the sauce is a mere ¼ teaspoon. But that’s plenty! Any more ghost pepper and the sauce would be ridiculously hot.
I like this sauce. The overriding flavor comes from the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. The heat provided by the hot sauces and ghost pepper gives it a nice, spicy kick.
A parting thought…
Tread lightly when adding spice to your sauces. You can always keep a secret stash of wicked sauce on the table. Don’t wreck a great meal for others just because you want to push your own taste buds to the extreme. Same goes with sugar or salt. Be kind. Be bold. Come back for more when you’re hungry! – The Pick
Sometimes I crave very spicy food. And by sometimes, I mean about once a week. I don’t always act on the impulse but when I
do, I go all out.
I’m not the kind of person that goes around bragging about
eating super-hot-spicy peppers and I’m not the kind of guy that likes to trick
people with wickedly spicy food. I just like
the stuff. Spicy food makes me happy. It brings me peace when I need it. I tend to crave very spicy food after a stressful
day at work. I feel as though I can burn
away a bad day with blistering hot food. Sometimes I just want something very spicy for
no reason at all. Like I said, I just
like the stuff.
I call this Yin and Yang Chicken Wraps because it exists in perfect balance. Admittedly, it contains things that are not so healthy yet, it contains things that are very healthy for you. Think of it as the dichotomy of Good and Evil.
Evil: fried chicken, flour tortillas and mayonnaise.
Without evil, could we appreciate good? Without good, could we perceive evil? Oh yes, this is going to be some very
Another aspect of yin and yang provided by this recipe relates
to taste sensations. Spicy and
Spicy: all of the peppers and hot sauces
Soothing: mango, lettuce, sour cream and cilantro.
This recipe is relatively quick and easy to make. In fact, if you pare it down to the core, it’s
really just fried chicken strips with hot sauce and some vegetables, wrapped
into a large burrito. The ingredients may
change, based upon what I have at hand.
Since I am growing chili peppers in my garden, I have lots of ways to bring
spicy heat and bold flavors.
Habaneros are the key in this particular recipe. If you have never tried fresh habanero, you should try them. Be careful, though. Habaneros are VERY spicy. Slice a tiny sliver from a fresh habanero and pop it into your mouth. Bite once and spit it out. You will get a big dose of heat from the spice but not so much to knock you down. You will also get to experience a most unique chili flavor. There’s no other chili pepper like the habanero. The taste is vibrant and unlike any other chili I have tasted.
If you want to try cooking with habanero but are concerned
about being blown away by the excessive heat, try adding a slice or two to a
stir fry. Stir it with other items in
the wok and pull it out after 10 or 15 seconds.
You will get the flavor and some of the heat. If you like it, add a little more but beware,
you can always add more habanero to a dish but you can never take it away. Once it imparts its heat, you can’t undo it.
Notice that I also use ghost pepper powder. Ghost pepper (Bhut jolokia) makes the habanero seem sweet and innocent, by comparison. Ghost peppers provide extremeheat and very little flavor. Any flavor a ghost pepper might provide is hidden behind screaming fire. I grow ghost peppers and dehydrate them and grind them into a powder.
A word of warning: set your dehydrator outdoors or in a ventilated, open garage. The fumes are practically lethal. And, once in powder form, the ghost pepper is as strong as mace. I’m serious. You should use latex gloves and a mask and goggles when working with dried ghost pepper. I don’t, but I should.
The way I use ghost pepper in this recipe gives some spice
to the chicken but, after frying, the spiciness dissipates remarkably. You will get a bigger kick from the habanero
and jalapeño…believe me.
If you want to make a tame version of this, skip all of the peppers
and hot sauce and use everything else.
3 chicken breasts
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs paprika
2 cups flour
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 mango, peeled and chopped
3 habanero chilis, thinly sliced
3 jalapeños, sliced
1 tsp ghost pepper powder (optional)
¼ onion, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro
½ cup carrots, sliced
1 cup lettuce, julienne sliced
1 Tbs Salt
4 burrito sized flour tortillas
Ingredients for the
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
3 Tbs sriracha hot sauce
Mix the sauce (mayonnaise, sour cream and sriracha). Set aside
Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice them scallopini-style. Hold the chicken breast in place with the
palm of your hand. Slice the breast in
half horizontally, starting at the thickest end and work your way to the
thinner end. Dust the chicken with paprika
and ghost pepper powder.
Prepare the flour dredge by whisking the flour and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and let the chicken
rest in the bowl for 10 or 15 minutes.
The flour will mix with the moisture on the surface of the chicken and
the chicken will become tacky, to the touch.
While the chicken rests, add the cooking oil to a skillet
and set the heat to medium.
Mix the eggs in a shallow dish.
Dip the chicken in the egg and then dredge the chicken in
the flour mixture again. Shake off
excess flour and lay the chicken in the hot oil. Do not crowd in the pan. You will probably need to fry in two batches.
Since the chicken has been sliced in half, it will cook
quickly. Turn the chicken after a few
minutes and turn again. Keep turning the
chicken every few minutes until the chicken is crisps and becomes golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle a little salt on the chicken. Slice the chicken into ½“ strips.
Warm the burrito sized tortillas in a microwave oven until
they are soft and pliable.
Lay a tortilla on a clean work surface. As you prepare the wrap you will want to lay
everything down horizontally. Smear some
of the sauce in the center of tortilla.
Lay the vegetables, herbs and mango down on top of the sauce. Lay some chicken on top of the vegetables.
Add hot sauce, if desired.
Wrap the tortilla by folding the sides inward, toward the
middle and roll the tortilla.
Serve with your favorite drink. Milk, if you want some relief from the heat. Beer, if you’ve had a particularly rough day.