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Sunday, August 7

Garlic Citrus Chicken Wings

Wonderfully portable, packed with BIG flavour, these chicken wings are equally delicious eaten hot, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy with a salad and garlic bread.

What You Need

Chicken - About 24 whole wings, or 36 - 48 pieces
Chicken wing drumettes work especially well
* Garlic - 2 whole heads
Limes  - 6 juicy big ones
Olive Oil - 250ml  1 cup
Butter - 250g  about 10 ounces
Coarse Black Pepper - 2 tbs
Crushed Red Pepper - 2 tbs 
Coarse Sea Salt - 2 tbs

Marsha's Notes

* Make sure you use good quality garlic, not too old, as you lose the flavour. 

If you want to infuse chicken with a bit of smokiness, as if you chargrilled it, add a tablespoon of quality sweet, smokey paprika. If you want your chicken hot, add a heaping teaspoon of hot paprika or hot chilli powder to the mix.

If you want to serve garlic bread with your meal, consider doubling the recipe (sans the chicken) then separating out half the mixture before adding the seasoning. Generously spread on slices of crusty bread and grill in very hot oven (200c/400F) for about 10 - 12 minutes. The citrus adds a complimentary complexity to the garlic bread.

As the wings can sometimes stick, lining pans with heavy aluminium foil, or baking paper, makes them easier to turn, not to mention a much easier clean-up.

What You Do

Remove wings from fridge and wrappings. Allow about an hour to reach room temperature.

If butter isn't super soft, gently melt it in small pan. Peel garlic and set aside. Juice four limes, set aside two for serving with the chicken. In blender or food processor, throughly combine citrus juice, olive oil, garlic and soft or melted butter, making sure the garlic is pulverised in the process.

If you want to make garlic bread too, this is where you plit the mixture in half before adding seasoning. 

Pour mixture into generous bowl, add pepper, chile flakes and salt. Mix thoroughly. 

Heat oven to 170C   350F

Pour the garlic mixture onto your largest roasting pan. Be sure it has a generous lip for catching drips. If your roasting pan is too small to hold all the wings, use two.

Place wings on the pan and generously coat meat all over, getting every nook and cranny. If using whole wings, fold them into a triangle (see picture) Roast for about 30 minutes, then turn the chicken and continue roasting another 30 minutes.

If you’re roasting chicken on two roasting trays in same oven, rotate trays about every 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow chicken to rest for about 10 minutes - if you can bear to wait that long. As they can sometimes stick to the pan, check and gently loosen with knife while resting.

Place chicken on large serving platter, pour leftover drippings from the pan over the top, and serve with wedges of limes. 

Ideas and Suggestions

For super garlicy chicken, double the marinade, reserve half, then pour over the wings after cooking, or offer little dipping pots as part of the meal. Superb.

Baby Cos Lettuce (called Little Gems, or Baby Gems in England) known as Romaine Lettuce in the states, is my favourite lettuce and is especially good with this chicken. Pull leaves apart, place on platter or plate, adorn with chicken wings, squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice (I prefer lime) over everything and you have the perfect meal. 

In warm weather, I like to have a big bowl of these wings in the fridge. A couple of Little Gems and a handful of wings is just what the working woman needs to keep herself going. 

One of my favourite utensils is the kind of basic rubber mallet you get from the hardware store. I use it for everything from separating and peeling garlic, to activating the juices in citrus fruits, before slicing and juicing. If you've never prepared garlic this way, give it a go. I think you'll find it faster than the knife method many chefs employ.