We’ve already looked at what can be done with giblets, and now it’s the turn of another undervalued part of the chicken – its wings.
At Cornish Chicken, we sell bags of chicken wings, and I really, really urge you to try them. They are an inexpensive portion, and for their size have a surprising amount of meat. The supermarkets don’t sell free range wings, which may explain why many people don’t eat this part of the bird.
What can you do with chicken wings? They are party food, fun food, sharing-with-good-friends food. American-style food is very popular at the moment, so the famous Buffalo Chicken Wings are a good place to start.
A proper Buffalo Sauce needs a dash of Frank’s Red Hot. This spicy blends dates back to Ohio in 1896; however it found real fame when Buffalo wings were first served at the Anchor Bar and Grill in Buffalo in the 1960s. The wings are deep-fried and coated in the hot sauce which has been mixed with melted butter. To be really authentic, serve them with a blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
This is wonderfully messy meal, and there’s a certain toddler-esque joy about eating food that ends up all over your hands and face. This is part of the fun. Even David Cameron wouldn’t eat these with a knife and fork. Just have plenty of wipes (and dental floss) to hand.
The messiness seems to be international. Another favourite wings recipe is Sticky Chinese Wings, with a gorgeous soy and sugar coating. Again, don’t wear a white shirt while eating this one!
I recently ended up with a lot of spare wings. We’d had a massive barbecue order for portioned chicken, and the wings were left over. Tellingly, the local chefs snapped them up. I actually find that wings are great on the barbie, as they really lend themselves well to barbecue-style sauces; and their finger-food informality makes them perfect for fun al fresco eating.
For a change from the spicy approach, Nigel Slater has a chicken wings recipe in his Kitchen Diaries that he describes as “finger food at its very best. So simple you could do them with a blindfold on”. He roasts them with lemon and black pepper – an absolutely lovely summer dish.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Now you know where to get free range chicken wings, there is no excuse! As ever, if you have any favourite recipes to share, please let us know. Grab your bib and your bottle of Frank’s, and enjoy every messy mouthful.