Chef Perry’s favorite grilled appetizer

Tomorrow I’m hosting a house-warming party at the new farm, with around fifty of my closest friends dropping by!

For those who arrive on time (hint hint) I’ll be grilling up my all time favorite BBQ appetizer recipe…Dragon Claws!

Anaheim peppers stuffed with a combination of Johnsonville bratwurst, onions, and peppers, wrapped in bacon, smoked, then glazed with a honey butter barbecue sauce.

This is one of, if not THE, signature recipes of our BBQ team, Burnin’ Love BBQ, and it never fails to rock our customer’s worlds! I had great fun preparing these as a Sears’s Grilling in Happiness blogger at the Kenmore booth at the 2013 Ribfest in Chicago, with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host Ty Pennington (who is a awesome, funny, crazy guy, btw!)

Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire! And…trust me on this, MUCH easier to make when there isn’t a live audience and 3 television cameras in your face!

Ribfest 2013 Recipes

Even so, it’s totally worth it, lol! Oh, soooo good…

Perk’s Dragon Claws
6 whole Anaheim chiles, fairly straight
6 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)

1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce
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 chile. Start at the cut end, about 1/2″ wide and end about an inch from the tip.

Remove the seeds and veins from each chile, and rinse again.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, and bbq rub.

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

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

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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 chiles. If you’re using a gas grill, use a smoke box.

Dust each claw lightly with dry rub.

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 chile on both sides, and cook another 5 minutes. Repeat, then cook another 5 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.


– Chef Perry

And for all you crazy pinners out there…

SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com Dragon Claws Appetizer