There’s something immensely tactile about eating chicken wings. The deep orange of Buffalo sauce streaking your forearms, nubbly, crispy bits of fried coating to nibble off, a stack of stripped wings piling ever higher in a basket in front of you.

“People who love chicken wings are crazy for chicken wings,” says Ben Ford, one half of street food chicken wing outfit and restaurant, Wingmans (wingmans.co.uk). “It’s a cult,” adds his co-founder David Turofsky.

They’ve known each other since they were kids growing up in north London, but started working together after Turofsky returned from a year ostensibly studying in America. In fact, says Ford with a laugh, “he came back with this fiendish appetite for chicken wings.” “And buffalo sauce, generally,” adds Turofsky, proudly.

While admittedly “a chicken concept” in their new book the mates are determined to cater to all tastes and lifestyles, whether you’re vegan or gluten-free, halal or veggie (take their Shanghai cauliflower, or tempura oyster mushrooms).

“Everyone loves chicken, particularly wings!” buzzes Turofsky.

The key to great wings, they argue, is to follow in the great American tradition and toss them in sauce.

If you’re more used to ordering a bucket of wings than snipping wing-tips, marinating and deep-frying your own at home though, Turofsky’s top tip is to “cook with love!”

Sauce and combo wise, Turofsky says “don’t be afraid to experiment” either.

 

honey monster from Wings and Things by David Turofsky and Ben Ford (Quadrille, hardback & ebook). Dan Jones/PA.

Honey Monster Chicken Wings

Serves 4

 

1.25kg chicken wings, tip removed, drums and flat separated

2tsp celery salt

2tsp ground white pepper

1tsp freshly ground black pepper

2tsp garlic granules

2tsp salt

For the sauce:

200g golden caster sugar

100g honey

Zest of 21/2 lemons

Large piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 large shallots, finely chopped

75g butter

Black pepper, to taste

 

In a large bowl combine the wings with the dry spices and let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or up to four hours – keep chilled until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a small saucepan bring 150ml water to the boil with the sugar. Add the honey, zest of two lemons and the ginger to the syrup. Allow to reduce slightly until the syrup takes on both flavours. Sieve the syrup into a clean container.

Soften the shallots in a small pan with the butter. Pour the syrup onto the softened shallots and mix together. Line up the wings on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, brush the wings with the glaze and continue to cook, applying fresh glaze every five minutes for a further 15 minutes. Reserve some glaze to serve.

Put the wings in a bowl and toss with a little reserved glaze ensuring they are fully coated.

Arrange in a serving dish and garnish with the remaining lemon zest and five to 10 twists of black pepper.

 

Szechuan Salt and Pepper from Wings and Things by David Turofsky and Ben Ford (Quadrille, hardback & ebook). Dan Jones/PA.

Szechuan Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

Serves 4

 

1.25kg chicken wings, tip removed, drums and flat separated

2tsp celery salt

2tsp white pepper

1tsp black pepper

150ml buttermilk

250g cornflour

50g rice flour

2 or 3l vegetable or rapeseed oil, for cooking

2tbsp Szechuan seasoning

For the garnish

Vegetable oil, for frying

2 fresh red chillies, finely sliced

Bunch of spring onions, green tops only, finely shredded

1 green pepper, deseeded and diced

A few curry leaves

A few sprigs of fresh coriander or cress

 

In a large bowl combine the wings with the dry spices and the buttermilk. Let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or up to four hours. Combine the two flours and set aside. Drain the wings from the excess marinade and toss through the flour – keep chilled until ready to cook.

Preheat a deep fryer to 180°C. Place the wings in the basket and lower slowly into the fryer.

Cook for seven or eight minutes ensuring they hit 75°C at the core of the thickest part of the wing and the juices run clear. If they don’t hit 75°C after the first eight minutes just carry on cooking for a further minute.

Heat some oil for the garnish in a wok and fry the chillies, spring onions, green pepper and curry leaves for a couple of minutes until crispy.

Pile the wings high on a plate, dust with the Szechuan seasoning and garnish with the fried chillies, spring onions, green pepper and curry leaves. Top with the coriander.

 

Wings And Things: Lip-smacking Chicken Recipes by David Turofsky and Ben Ford is available now

 

 

 

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