They say our national staple in South Africa is maize meal. In the young urban areas I’d beg to differ and say its more likely fried chicken…and on weekends the fried chicken variety becomes hot wings with chilli sauce.
I’m all about taking business away from the fast food places and getting people cooking at home. Not because I hate fast food outlets but because I firmly believe the only way to grow our industry in South Africa is by getting more and more people back in the kitchen and understanding food again. The more people understand food the more people start demanding quality when they go out and in turn it means more qualified chefs stay in South Africa instead of running overseas.
Ok, now that I’ve got that little rant out the way, here’s my first hot chicken wings recipe. There are two kinds of Hot chicken wings, the deep fried kind (which are popular because of Chicken Licken and KFC) and the more traditional kind which are basically chicken wings basted and marinated in a hot sauce. I’ll post that recipe later once I work out the quantities. You’d be shocked to know I actually don’t write any of these recipes down, I just make stuff (unless it’s pastry recipes, those ones I follow to the letter). So I have to sit and remember in my rather scattered brain just how I make these things sometimes.
If you’re savvy with chef knives (or have attended one of my classes) please portion the wings into buffalo wings (this is when you segment each wing into 3 sections by cutting through the joints in the wing and getting rid of the tip section. You just want the middle section and the “drum” section of the wing. TIP: keep the wing tips, they’re awesome for making chicken stock)
Without any more rambling…the recipe.
3kg Chicken wing portions
150g Corn flour (maizena)
100g Breadcrumbs or crushed corn flakes.
500ml Buttermilk or Inkomazi
2 Large eggs
10g Ground Pepper
5g Finely chopped rosemary
5g finely chopped thyme
15g Strong chilli powder or crushed dried chilli’s
30ml (2 tablespoons) fresh chilli paste or strong chilli sauce
2 litres chicken stock
1 litre veg oil (for frying)
1. Heat your chicken stock in a pot (if you don’t have chicken stock use 2 litres of water, season it with mixed herbs, chicken spice, a little lemon juice)
2. Add your chicken wings to the Iiquid and simmer for about 10 minutes or until par-cooked (don’t cook the wings until they are 100% done though as you’re still going to cook them in oil.)
3. Set the wings aside to cool.
4. Mix your buttermilk and eggs with the chilli paste/chilli sauce in one bowl and place all your wings in the bowl. Stir and mix to cover all the wings
5. Mix all you dry ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) together in a separate bowl.
6. Heat your oil in a large pot (if you have a thermometer your heat should be at 180°C for frying chicken)
7. One by one lift a wing, shake off as much of the buttermilk mix as possible and then dip each wing into the dry ingredients. Shake off the excess powder and drag the wings through the buttermilk again. Now toss them in the breadcrumbs before frying in the oil.
8. Fry until golden
9. I personally place the chicken in the oven just to make sure they get properly cooked. The oven also dries the outside of the chicken resulting in a crunchier final product.
Note: For hotter wings, simply add more heat by adding more chilli.