4 Bites: Chicken wings and sauces
Warren Elwin smothers his chicken wings in saucy love
Tender, crunchy chicken wings
- Separate the drumette from the wingette (freeze the tips for your next chicken stock), pat dry and lay out in a clean container. Refrigerate to dry out overnight.
- Rub a little duck fat (or olive oil) all over wings, place skin side up in a baking paper-lined roasting dish, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, then roast in a hot oven (210C) for 50-60 minutes until the wings are tender and the skin is crispy and golden.
- For best results, the wings need to be cooked twice. You can fry them twice, once to cook and once to colour and crisp, or pre-cook by steaming or slow cooking them. You could also confit them in duck fat or olive oil for 1 hour in a slow oven (140C), drain and cool them before frying.
- Fry wings in batches in hot oil until golden and crunchy.
- Drain and serve hot, smothered or dipped in sauce. Each of the following sauces will do 12-18 wings.
Blend 4 Tbsp sour cream, 3 Tbsp plain yoghurt, 1 canned chipotle pepper plus 1 tsp of the adobo sauce, 1 Tbsp chopped coriander, the zest and juice ½ lemon, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp grated nutmeg and some freshly ground black pepper to a smooth sauce and chill.
Whisk to combine 2 Tbsp each of peanut butter and Chinese cooking wine (or sake), 1 Tbsp each of gochujang (or other red chilli paste), honey, and rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp each of soy and fish sauces, and the zest and juice 1 lime. Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a saucepan, add 2 cloves garlic crushed with ¼ tsp salt and 1 small knob ginger, finely grated, and fry gently until fragrant. Add the peanut butter, mix and stir to heat through, thinning with a little water as necessary to create a creamy sauce. Smother or dip wings in sauce and top with crushed hazelnuts (or peanuts) and toasted sesame seeds.
Buffalo hot wings sauce
Use your favourite hot sauce such as Franks RedHot, or Culley’s Habanero. (Conveniently, Culley’s also has a ready-made Buffalo Wing Sauce, in mild and hot, that’s just as good.) Heat ⅓ cup of hot sauce with 2-3 Tbsp sriracha sauce, and 1 Tbsp of honey, until warm. Whisk in a knob of butter (30g) to form a smooth creamy sauce. Smother wings all over in sauce, and serve with a cooling ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce, for extra authenticity.
Green pickle sauce (hatch sauce)
The spicy pickle spear (long-sliced dill pickle) adds a gentle touch of heat and tart to this cheesy herb sauce. Substitute with pickled jalapenos if you like it a little hotter. Chop a large handful each of flat leaf parsley and coriander with, 1 sprig rosemary leaves and 2 cloves garlic. Blitz, along with 1 spicy pickle spear (or 1 large gherkin), 2 Tbsp of pickle juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 anchovy fillets, ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan and the zest and juice 1 lime (or ½ lemon) to a smooth sauce and chill.