I love red meat especially a nice steak and don’t get me started on smoked bacon. However, I don’t get the appeal of pork and most of the time chicken is a bit, well, meh. It needs so much flavour to make it sing. In this post, Rory Kelly sums this up much better than I ever could!
However, I live with a meat lover so I’m always trying to find ways to cook chicken in a way that we will both enjoy. I’ve been experimenting a bit more with the inexpensive cuts such as thighs and wings and it really does taste so much better than breast meat when eaten simply. I know this won’t be news to many of you but I mostly only ever cooked with breast meat in the past.
I recently bought Kelis’ cookbook My Life on a Plate and there are some fab recipes in it. She has a recipe for drunken chicken using a whole jointed chicken, marinated and then coated with flour and deep fried. I wanted to adapt her recipe but didn’t want to deep fry, so I decided to do wings and bake them in the oven instead. The ‘drunken’ element she uses is rice wine or sake. We have some really lovely bourbon at home so I decided to use that. The resulting glaze is really delicious! The only complaint I got for these was that I hadn’t made enough. I had only planned to eat a couple but we both wolfed them down. So next time I’ll have to make a lot more.
The blue cheese dip originated from an Ina Garten recipe I found online years ago. I honestly never measure ingredients when I make it but did take note for the purpose of this post. I normally just throw everything into a bowl and taste as I go.
Please note the wings need time to marinate. The recipe is easily scaled up if cooking for a crowd.
Makes 24 pieces
- 12 Chicken wings, jointed*
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp bourbon
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- Salt and pepper
For the blue cheese dip
- 75g blue cheese
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp creme fraiche
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Some celery to serve (optional)
- Start by making the marinade: put the soy sauce, bourbon, honey, ginger, garlic with some salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix well. Add the jointed wings and mix everything thoroughly with your hands so that all of the chicken is well coated. Cover the bowl and allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to make the wings, preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
- Line a large baking tray, or 2 if making more, with some aluminum foil.
- Take the wings out of the marinade and place in a single layer on to the foil. There won’t be much marinade on the wings as it is quite thin but that is ok as it allows the skin to crisp up in the oven and the marinade would burn if cooked for the full length of time. Keep the marinade that is left in the bowl.
- Bake the wings for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven. The wings should be more or less cooked at this stage. Pour over the remaining marinade and turn the chicken over to make sure it is all covered in the sauce.
- Put the wings back in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the marinade has turned into a nice sticky glaze on the wings. Rest them for a few minutes on the baking tray after taking them out of the oven.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the blue cheese dip. Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl. Add all of the other ingredients and use a small whisk or fork to combine everything. I like to leave a few small lumps of blue cheese in the dip. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the wings with some of the dip on the side and some celery to pretend you’re eating a salad!
*I have had difficulties jointing wings in the past and have a big scar to prove this! I have found the easiest way to do this is to lay the wing flat, use a sharp knife to whack the tip and it should come off easily. Discard this or save it for stock. Then hold the wing by the drumette so that it is perpendicular to the board and the wing is at a right angle. Gently cut down through the skin at the corner of the ‘L’ shape and that should take you right through the joint without any difficulty so that you have a separate drumette and flat wing. Make a few small cuts through the skin to allow the marinade into the meat.