I did, however, some time ago, buy a packet of chicken wings. Now, these are CHEAP as chips, literally - a pack of twelve from your local supermarket usually comes in well under €3.50. The weather reports were good and I was planning a BBQ and knew the DinnerGirls (they're not babies anymore!) would love them. But that left me with half a pack of chicken wings taking up an enormous amount of space (it's a big container) in my poor freezer. So I had a thought to do "fancy" chicken wings... I was thinking along the lines of the spicy, vinegar-y wings you get in the Dublin restaurant "Elephant and Castle" (if you've ever been there, you've almost certainly had the wings - they are their "thing").
The recipe however, is elusive. The restaurant guard it as "A SECRET" and will not divulge. I remember, years ago, I did read a recipe for them. It was in a book that accompanied a radio show I listen to - the "Fixit Friday" slot on Ray D'Arcy's show on TodayFM. Unfortunately my copy of the book (which lived in my bathroom) did not not survive the great flood 2010 - caused by over enthusiastic bathing and general high jinx from the then DinnerBabies in the bath.
Endless Google searches with various permutations of the terms (fixit / Ray Darcy - various spellings / chicken wings / elephant & castle) produced lots of references but no actual recipe. And then I had a brainwave. Email the "Fixit Friday" helpdesk! The show is still going strong, they still run their Friday morning slot, so perfect! And thank you a million to both Jenny Kelly and Martin McGuire from TodayFM; Jenny read my email out on Friday morning and Martin provided the recipe. I took the chicken wings out of the freezer, although it took me til today (Sunday) to make them. My word, readers - SO WORTH IT!
Needless to say, as with my first time making anything, I went a tiny bit astray (I really should not have taken a phone call at the crucial moment) but they were really, really good. And I know they are only at 85% good; next time I make them, they will be epic! These are the perfect nibbly starter to serve if you are planning a summer BBQ - go for it. Don't worry about the amount of butter... yes, it's a lot, but these are a treat and you won't be eating them daily!
As my sauce split a bit, I am stealing TodayFM's photo, and you can find their recipe right here. I've also posted it below, for your benefit.
TodayFM's Spicy Chicken WingsServes 4
- 1 pack of chicken wings (about 12 in the pack)
- ½ pound butter
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar (DL note: I used white wine vinegar, it was fine)
- Tabasco sauce; to taste (recipe suggests at least half a bottle, I had slightly under half a small bottle in my store cupboard, I'd be more generous in future)
- Split the wing into two at the joint – the mini drumstick and the oval shaped part
- Deep fry until extra extra crispy (DL note: I just baked them at 180C for 20-25 mins)
- In a saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat, addthe vinegar and then plenty of Tabasco sauce
- Stir until the mixture takes on that glossy, almost luminous orangey glow (DL note: I let m sauce go too far and it split - it was still gorgeous, but it didn't coat the wings so well as a result. Keep an eye - and don't answer the phone!)
- Toss each batch of fresh wings in the mixture and serve with sticks of celery; if you like that sort of thing (DL: and I do!) and a Blue Cheese Dip.
Blue Cheese Dip is simply:
- 1 cup of sour cream
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- ½ cup of blue cheese; crumbled
- Chopped parsley
I would suggest that you also serve with a big pack of baby wipes - total messy gorgeousness!
Anyhow, the most important thing is that they were totally DELICIOUS, and I will definitely make them again. And again. And again.