Sunday, 8 June 2014

Chicken Wings

I've just noticed that my last post on here was March. That is so rubbish - sorry. Truth be told, I've been stuck in a rut of "same old, same old" dinners, and haven't really been experimenting or feeling the love for a while.

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)
  1. Split the wing into two at the joint – the mini drumstick and the oval shaped part
  2. Deep fry until extra extra crispy (DL note: I just baked them at 180C for 20-25 mins)
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat, addthe vinegar and then plenty of Tabasco sauce
  4. 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!)
  5. 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
Again, I had to improvise a little. I used the proportions above, but I used creme fraiche instead of sour cream, and only about a third of the clove of garlic (it was a big clove, and I didn't want it to take over). The blue cheese I used was Cashel Blue - I'm not the biggest blue cheese lover in the world, but this sauce is marvellous with wings, and the blue taste is very subtle. I had no 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.

Sarah xx


  1. Can't wait to make these..... I love elephant and castle chicken wings! Thanks for posting!

  2. Try them using Frank's red hot cayenne pepper sauce. They sell it in Tesco. Melt the butter and Mic the sauce to taste. Then put the deep fried wings into it. I tried the today fm recipe and while I thought they were nice I thought these tasted better. But then each to their own tastes.

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