When people think of chicken wings they mostly picture the same thing: fried wings in a buffalo style hot sauce.
I imagine that 95% of the wings served are exactly like that, and with good reason. Those are good wings! Especially at a bar with a few beers.
But even though chicken wings are one of my favorite bar foods, I sometimes get sick of the same old thing. So when I make them at home, I keep a few things the same, but also try to change them up a bit.
I almost always fry my wings, because I find it’s the best way to give them a crunchy exterior and juicy interior. But I love changing up the sauces. There’s a whole world of delicious sauces out there and it seems silly to just resign yourself to the same old spicy red sauce.
So this is a different
spicy red sauce. It’s based on a Peruvian style called Peri Peri that’s normally grilled. I made up some sauce (with a few substitutions that work well) and tossed my fried chicken wings in it.
And that’s how Peri Peri Wings
The sauce for these wings is really the star of the show. Traditionally, it’s made with these very small (very hot) red chili peppers called Piri Piri
peppers, which are pretty hard to find in the states. They are also labeled as bird peppers in some markets.
If you can’t find them though, just use red jalapenos for the same effect.
I also like to mix in a few sweet peppers into my sauce. These are the smaller peppers that normally come in a box in the produce section. Again, if you can’t find them, you could toss in an orange or yellow pepper.
The nice thing about this sauce is that you don’t have to bother with seeding the peppers or even chopping them up much because we’ll be blending everything together.
Just roughly chop everything and cut out the stems.
Add a stick of butter to a medium pot over medium heat. Once it’s melted add all the peppers and garlic. Stir this all together until the veggies get soft, about 15 minutes. Be sure not to burn the butter! If it’s starting to brown at all, turn the heat down a bit.
Once the sauce has cooked for a few minutes, add all the other sauce add-ins to the pot. These give the sauce some really nice flavor to accompany the pure heat of the peppers. Brown sugar, tomato paste, and paprika are also pretty standard chicken wing sauce ingredients so they kind of bring the whole thing together.
Add these bad boys and stir everything together for another 5 minutes or so. You just want to make sure all the flavors are coming together and the sauce is thickening up a bit.
Then remove the sauce from the heat and toss in some fresh oregano. This gives the sauce a fantastic fresh herby flavor.
Toss all this stuff in a blender and give it whirl!
Ok. That might have seemed like a lot of work just for a sauce, but trust me. It’s a really unique flavor – and really, it’s just cooking stuff for a few minutes. There isn’t much chopping or fussing involved. Assuming you have a blender or a food processor, you can toss this sauce together in 25 or 30 minutes tops.
On to the wings! I like to keep my wings pretty simple. I just dust them all in a light coating of flour or cornstarch. I don’t like heavy breading on my wings. You can actually fry them without any flour or anything at all (naked), just be sure to dry them off well before dunking them in hot oil.
Once the wings are floured, dunk them in a deep fryer for about 8 minutes. When it comes to deep frying, if you don’t have a specialized deep fryer (I don’t), use a large, heavy pot and only fill it halfway with oil. Be sure to use a deep-frying thermometer to get your temperature right (350 degrees) and keep the oil in sight while it’s on.
Be sure to cook the wings in batches so the oil doesn’t overflow and so the temperature doesn’t drop too much. It should stay between 300 and 350 degrees.
After they have fried for about 8 minutes (10 minutes max), remove them from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel for a minute or two. They will be way too hot to eat right away!
Then just toss the wings into the sauce and swirl them around until they are completely covered!
Serve these up like you would any chicken wings: With lots of blue cheese dressing!
The wings are definitely spicy but they aren’t as one dimensional as normal hot wings. They have a lot of flavor and some sweetness from the brown sugar.
They absolutely rock and your friends will be asking for the recipe!Nick sometimes has nothing but chicken wings for dinner. His wife thinks this is weird, but if chicken wing dinners are wrong. He doesn’t want to be right. Check out his blog, Macheesmo and his Tablespoon Profile to stay in touch!