Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spicy Chicken Wings Mk IV

Cooking, or at least developing a recipe, or a dish, or a snack, or even just figuring out just how you like your grilled cheese, is always a work in progress, you’re never likely to get it right the first try, or even the second, time and patience is your friend. I’ve recently started a hot and spicy affair with chicken wings, trying to nail the perfect crunchy spicy wing, a good crust, moist perfect flesh and of course hot! Easier said than done, you have to get the ratio of flour right, choose the right spices, should I just use wheat flour? Deep fry? Oven bake? I previously wrote about mark 1, but now with mark 3 behind me, I am almost there, and this recipe (mark 4) is as close to perfect as I can get, in a perfect world of course.

The quantities below are based on 500g of chicken wings.

Spice Mix
10g Coriander seed
10g Cumin seed
5g Chili flakes (hot)
5g Sweet smoked paprika
5g Salt

  • Grind all the ingredients together, a blender is handy but a mortar and pestle will do the job. 
  • Sieve the resulting mixture, saving both the resulting powder and coarse separately. You should have about 16 grams of powder, if you’re off by a gram or two don’t worry, but much more than that put the coarse back in the blender and grind more. 
  • Mix the 16g of powder with 5g of the coarse, about a 3:1 powder to coarse ratio. Set this aside, and either discard the remaining coarse materials or seal up in a jar and store.

The powder separated from the coarse chaff.

16g powder & 5g coarse chaff.

25g Fine semolina flour
25g Plain wheat flour
21g Spice mix (the 16g powder + 5g coarse from above)

  • In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together, if you have more than 20-21g of spice mix adjust the flour accordingly, 5 parts flour mix to 2 parts spice mix. 

Getting it all together
  • Pat the chicken wings dry with some paper towels, and lightly coat with some oil, canola is fine, I usually just use the aerosol cooking oil that I spray the sheet pans with, it’s canola and as it’s a spray I can get a nice even light coating. 
  • Add the wings to the bowl with the spiced flour and cover with a double layer of clingfilm. 
  • Gently toss the wings in the flour, making sure to coat thoroughly, you may wish to give another little spray with oil to help, but it’s not always necessary.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, this will allow the starch in the flours to hydrate, making for a stronger coating that will help trap in steam from the wings as they cook, and less likely to fall off.

  • Preheat the oven to 200-210°C, let it sit at temperature for a good 15 minutes before adding the chicken. 
  • Line a sheet pan with baking paper and spray with some non-stick spray (yes the double up of non-stickiness is needed) 
  • Arrange the chicken on the pan, allowing room around each wing for airflow. 
  • Cook for 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven and turn each wing over, cook for a further 15 minutes. 
Note: for extra crispy wings, and for people not watching their weight, spray the wings when placing them on the sheet pan, and again when you flip them. 

Serve up with some hot sauce, a finger bowl and lots of napkins.