A takeaway favourite to make at home: hot, crispy chicken wings

Wing it with these indulgent fakeaway recipes for a feelgood dinner-time treat

Chicken wings, whether you like them hot and spicy or sweet and sticky, are a perennial favourite. But you don’t need to visit a famous fried-chicken shop to enjoy them at home.

If, during the coronavirus shutdown, you are pining for the spicy kick of the neon-orange wings and drumsticks that are usually served alongside a pot of creamy blue-cheese dip to put out the fire, and a stick of celery for an illusion of healthy eating, scroll down to discover how to make them. (Spoiler alert: it just involves buying the correct jar of sauce.)

Or maybe it’s a big bucket of KFC you’re hankering after? No, not that stuff. The real KFC comes from Korea.

Here’s Donal Skehan’s take on it: “Crispy chicken in a sweet and spicy aromatic sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds, leads to some seriously addictive chicken wings. Gochujang, a Korean chilli paste, is worth sourcing from an Asian food shop, but you could replace it with some sriracha sauce.” See below, and prepare to be seriously tempted.

Jess Murphy describes her hoisin chicken wings with buttermilk ranch dressing (recipe below) as being "no-fuss, stress-free, and perfect for cooking for a crowd". Your crowd might be a bit smaller than usual these days, but that just means more of these gorgeous aromatic mouthfuls for you to enjoy.

The ranch dressing is made with buttermilk, but if you don’t have it, just use full-fat milk that’s had a squeeze of lemon juice added, and left to sit for 30 minutes.

My favourite chicken-wing recipe is a bit of a departure from the norm but really worth trying out. To make them, you’ll need some pink peppercorns, so pick up a jar next time you’re shopping. In normal times, I buy big bags of them from Tiger shops, for very little money.

Toss the wings in a plastic bag with the grated rind and juice of a lemon, a big sprig of rosemary finely chopped, a glug of olive oil and as many of those pretty pink peppercorns as you’d like. (A teaspoon is good for wings for four; any more and it can be a bit too floral.) Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, then season with sea salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven.

On Friday we’ll be bringing you recipes for home-cooked versions of an end-of-week favourite, fish and chips. They’re healthier than the chip-shop version, and with the spectre of the “corona stone” that’s being talked about, that can only be a good thing.

FRANK’S HOT SAUCE WINGS

Mix 70g of melted butter with 110ml of Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce (or use the Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce that doesn’t need to have butter added). Pour this over and thoroughly mix into 750g of chicken wings (about 24 medium-sized pieces) that have been roasted in the oven (30 minutes at 180 Celsius; longer if you want them really crispy). This produces a really good imitation of an enduring favourite.

DONAL SKEHAN’S KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN WINGS

Serves four

Ingredients
For the wings
16 chicken wings
125g flour
1tbsp cornflour
½tsp baking powder
Generous pinch of salt
1tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Sunflower oil, for frying

For the sauce
8 cloves of garlic, finely grated
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
6tbsp light soy sauce
10tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
4tbsp rice vinegar
2tbsp sesame oil
6tbsp dark brown sugar

Method
1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar.

2. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and bring this to a low simmer, cooking until the sugar is just dissolved – about three minutes.

3. Fill a medium-sized pot with the sunflower oil until it reaches a depth of roughly six centimetres. Heat over a medium heat. The oil needs to come to a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius – check it with a thermometer if you have one, otherise drop a small piece of bread in and it should start to brown.

4. Whisk together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt with 125ml of cold water. Coat the chicken wings in this batter.

5. Working in two batches, carefully add the chicken wings to the oil, one at a time, shaking off any excess batter as you go. Fry for eight minutes, until the wings are golden brown and cooked all the way through. Drain, using a slotted spoon, and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

6. When all the chicken is cooked, toss it with the warm hot sauce until completely coated. Serve the wings sprinkled with sesame seeds.

JESS MURPHY’S HOISIN CHICKEN WINGS WITH BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Serves four

Ingredients
1kg chicken wings
1 garlic clove, crushed
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp honey or maple syrup
3tbsp hot chilli sauce
1tsp smoked paprika
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

Buttermilk ranch dressing:
75ml mayonnaise
75ml yoghurt
75ml buttermilk
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
20g fresh dill, chopped (or any soft green herb you have)
1 clove garlic, crushed

Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.

2. Mix the honey or maple syrup, soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper together.

3. Add the chicken wings and mix until the wings are thoroughly coated.

4. Spread the wings evenly out on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until cooked and golden, turning over halfway through.

5. For the dressing, mix everything together in a bowl.

6. To serve, sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds and serve with the dressing.