I’m in the middle of a minor kiwi crisis. I love kiwifruit and often have them for breakfast (next to my crumpets, of course). But the last lot I bought have jumped straight from unripe to almost off; they are beginning to shrivel yet are still too hard to eat and are eye-wateringly sour. I have tried popping them next to bananas which help other fruit to ripen but to no avail. It has been two weeks and they are still in my fruit bowl. I’m beginning to feel sorry for them and have starting avoiding eye contact when I go in the kitchen.
Last year whilst in New Zealand, I bought my brother a kiwifruit and habanero sauce (Waha Wera Kiwifruit & Habanero Pepper Sauce) because he loves hot sauce (I was told waha wera means ‘burning mouth’ in Maori…). And this sauce is beautiful: hot and sweet and tangy all at the same time. So we have concocted a marinade inspired by this sauce which also uses up my stubborn little kiwis. Kiwifruit are fantastic in marinades as they contain enzymes that break down the muscle tissue in meat which tenderises it. It is so effective that unless you’re dealing with a very tough hunk of meat, marinate too long and your meat will start going mushy!
This marinade is hot and sweet and tangy all at the same time, just like the Waha Wera sauce, and the chicken is juicy and tender – it’s the kind of food that you really need to eat with your fingers…
Although we used the Waha Wera sauce for our marinade because it was our inspiration, you could use another hot sauce instead.
Chicken in kiwifruit & chili marinade
– 12 chicken drumsticks
– 4 kiwifruit, peeled
– 1 1/2 red onions, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 teaspoon Waha Wera sauce (or alternative hot sauce)
– juice 1 lime
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 red chili, deseeded
– bunch of fresh coriander
Pick the coriander leaves off the stalks; roughly chop the leaves and set aside.
Place the coriander stalks along with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until almost smooth. Arrange the drumsticks in an ovenproof dish, pour over the marinade and mix well, making sure as much of the meat as possible is covered in marinade (we used our hands but a spoon would do!). Leave to marinate for an hour or two in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cover with silver foil and bake for approximately 30 mins, then turn the oven up to 200°C and bake uncovered for a further 10-20 mins to crisp up the skin. Check your chicken is cooked through by inserting a knife at the thickest part and seeing if the juices run clear.
Scatter the coriander leaves on top and serve with rice and lots of napkins!
Bonus Kiwi Fact No.1:
Whilst in NZ, I also stumbled across a fruit I had never seen anywhere else: the kiwi berry. They are basically miniature kiwis about the size of a gooseberry and with edible smooth skin. They look like tiny naked kiwis and they blew my mind. If anyone knows where I can buy them in London, please let me know.
Bonus Kiwi Fact No.2:
A kiwifruit is the perfect object to slide-unlock your phone when you don’t want to take your gloves off.
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.