Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Spicy Baked Chicken Wings

As a kid all the home-made chicken i ate was in curry form, mixed with rice - once a week on Sunday. Never chicken as a snack. Growing up, we weren't allowed to eat outside food. Anything i craved for, mom wood come up with a home-made version! Anything that couldn't be made at home in our small Indian city at that time wasn't really good for you anyway - that was how our requests were turned down for pizza, burgers, fried chicken and the likes. 
 Would you believe that the first restaurant meal we had as a family, parents and kid sister, was after i got my first job and my family came to visit me in the new city i had relocated to. We went to this restaurant and had an expensive meal and i was so happy i brought them there. You 'd probably guess what mom's reaction was at the end of it. "I could have made that at home - better". Of course i wouldn't argue with that, she really was an excellent cook. She raised two kids on home food for 20 years and that's no easy task.

And then i married a man who loves chicken in all forms and cannot live without it for more than a day (being a traditional Hindu family, we become vegetarians on festival days). You can only eat the same chicken curry regularly for so long and you can only eat out so many times a week without hurting the pocket. So began our experiments in the kitchen for spicy chicken wings (and other kinds of chicken i will talk about in later posts).
You can fry the chicken wings in oil or bake them with equally good results. The taste comes from the sauce, which we have now perfected after many trials and errors. We like it on the spicy side and we bake the wings to reduce the amount of oil required. So here's our recipe for spicy baked chicken wings.

1/2 kg chicken wings
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon oil or oil spray
For habanero garlic sauce
1/2 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons distilled vinegar
1/4 teaspoon habanero chili powder (or substitute with any other red chili powder you like and a few drops of Tabasco hot sauce)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the chicken wings into drumettes and flats and discard the tail part (or you can leave it on attached to the flat part if you like). Wash the chicken thoroughly in water and drain all the water. Add the turmeric and rub into the chicken. This will kill any germs on the raw chicken.
Spray the baking tray with oil or rub a teaspoon of oil on the baking tray to prevent the chicken sticking to the tray once baked (i line the baking tray with aluminum foil, it makes cleaning easier). Arrange the chicken on the tray and place the tray in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes on one side and turn the chicken pieces. Bake for another 15 minutes.
While the chicken is in the oven, you can get the sauce ready. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Add the garlic, salt and sugar and simmer for a minute. Add the vinegar and chili powder. Turn off the heat and stir until well combined.Coat the wings evenly in the sauce and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

They are good. Finger licking good. But you don't have to take my word for it. Go make them. 

Note: You can fry the chicken wings in hot oil for about 8 to 10 minutes (or until golden brown) instead of baking them, and then coat them in the hot sauce to enjoy the same delicious taste.

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