“Dragon Claw” BBQ Appetizer


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Anaheim peppers stuffed with a combination of hot (or sweet) Italian sausage and ground turkey, onions, and peppers, wrapped in bacon, smoked, then glazed with a honey butter barbecue sauce.

Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire!

Oh, soooo good…

(Scroll down for the “Baby Dragon Claws” appetizer version.)

Perk’s Dragon Claws
6 whole Anaheim peppers, fairly straight
12 slices (thin sliced) bacon
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb Johnsonville Beer Brats
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 tsp Buffalo sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp hickory salt
3 tsp of your favorite BBQ rub (I like Lawhorn’s Original)

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1/2 cup honey


6 Tbsp butter, melted

Wash the chiles and slice off the stem ends to roughly equal equal length. Remove sausage from brat casings. Cut a long V-shaped opening on one side of each pepper. Start at the cut end, about 1/2″ wide and end about an inch from the tip.  Remove the seeds and veins from each pepper, and rinse again. Mix all of the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, and bbq rub.

Let meat mixture rest in the fridge 4-6 hours, then on counter for at least an hour.

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Stuff each pepper with sausage, using a teaspoon, and packing it loosely from the end up.

Wrap each pepper with two slices of bacon, one at a time. Starting about 1″ from the cut end, tuck the end of the slice between the inside of the pepper and the stuffing.

Stretch it around the pepper moving toward the top. Tuck the loose end into the pepper.

Repeat with the second strip of bacon, from the opposite end.

Fire up your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. (About 25 briquettes in a Weber Smokey Joe.)

Add a few chips of fruit wood to the fire about 10 minutes before adding the peppers. If you’re using a gas grill, use a smoke box.

Dust each claw lightly with dry rub.

Bacon wrapped sausage stuffed peppers on the grill

Cook the Dragon Claws indirectly, but close to the heat about 45 minutes, turning once about halfway through.

Mix the glaze ingredients over heat to melt the butter, glaze each pepper on both sides, and cook another 5 minutes. Repeat, then cook another 5 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.

On the Traeger: 20 minutes on “Smoke”, then grill 15 minutes at 300F (lid down), brush with glaze and flip, brush with glaze and grill 10 more minutes (lid down).

I also like to make a “baby” version of these using the bagged baby-bells. Perfect on a toothpick as a one or two-bite appetizer, or 3 on a skewer as a “heavy app.”

Baby Dragon Claws


– Chef Perry

And for all you crazy pinners out there…

6 thoughts on ““Dragon Claw” BBQ Appetizer

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  3. the recipe for the Dragon Claws looks as if may be good. My problem is where are the rest of the directions?They are probably great if you previously helped someone whose made them before. At one point it said to use two slices of bacon each. Later on it talks of six chillies and six slices of bacon? is it one slice of bacon each chilli or two slices? Sorry, probably my technical background.

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