A bowl of freshly deep fried chicken wings are set down in front of you. Knowing they’re hot does not deter you from picking one up. You then proceed to do the chicken wing dance between your fingers. Holding the wing between one hand before transferring quickly, almost tossing, it to the other, to avoid being burnt.
You blow like a southerly on the outer crunchy coating in an attempt to cool the piping hot wing. Just when you think you have succeeded you bite down with your teeth. The coating shatters on impact with your teeth, resulting in a burst of steam released from the succulently tender meat inside. You accomplish burning your mouth, which results in making panting noises like you have just gone into labour. Theatrical short breaths in and out, along with something sounding like ‘hot hot hot’ in an attempt to stop your mouth burning while continuing to eat.
Does that sound like you? This is generally my ritual when eating deep fried chicken. I know better, but yet each time self will and patience seem to leave the building to prevent me from burning my fingers and usually my tongue on this delightful indulgence.
Chicken wings and indulgence really aren’t two words you would associate with each other. Chicken wings aren’t a luxury, they’re as cheap as chips to purchase. The indulgence (for me in any case) is allowing myself to eat sinfully good fried chicken.
This dish needs to be started at least 24 hours before frying. You need to marinade your wings for a minimum of 24 hours, 36 are better, but 48 are perfect. If you can’t wait 48, 24 hours will still award you with a fantastic result.
I don’t find the chili in these wings over powering. There is a little kick, the flavour is there, but it isn’t a ‘hard’ chili burn. If you do like your chili on the mild side, tone down the chili heat by omitting the chili flakes in the coating.
Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings
- 1 kg chicken wings
- 1 jalapeno chili finely chopped
- 2 red birds eye chilies finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon white pepper ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- Vegetable/canola oil for deep-frying
- Remove wing tips from the wings (the pointy end section). Then cut the remaining wing in half at the joint. You will end up with a piece resembling a small chicken drum and a flatter oblong piece. Place wing portions in a medium glass bowl.
- In a small blender, blend chilies, paprika, pepper, salt, garlic, vinegar, sugar and buttermilk. The pour mixture over you wings, coating them well. Cover bowl with plastic film and place in the fridge.
- Marinade your wings for a minimum of 24 hours up to 48 hours. Give them a stir at least once (half way through) to ensure even marinating.
- In a wok, pour in oil until around 7cm deep. Heat wok over medium heat to 170 deg C (340 deg F) and pre heat your oven to 120 deg C (250 deg C). Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl place flour, salt and chili flakes, mix well.
- Working with 3 or 4 pieces of chicken at a time, remove from marinade, coat in flour mixture, shake off extra and then deep fry in oil. Fry for around 8 minutes then turn chicken and fry on reverse side until cooked.
- Remove with wings from oil with tongs. Shaking off all excess oil. Drain on some paper towel before putting on baking tray and placing in oven to keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining chicken wings.
- Sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes and serve with chipotle hot sauce or sauce of choice.
I serve these wings simply with chipotle hot sauce splashed over them. They would go just as well with a creamy ranch sauce, a savoury and spicy chili jam, or your favourite sauce you enjoy your wings with.
Once you have made this economical dish at home, I can guarantee you it wont be your last.