I love spice, 224pp.
by Love Food kitchens
Parragon Books, Bath UK, 2008
Cooking on page 32
As the title says, I love spice, in fact the whole family loves spice. I grew up eating spicy food. Living in Nebraska, most of that was Mexican.
My dad was a guru of hot Mexican food. His favourite restaurant in the entire world was El Matador Cafe near 24th and Farnam in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s not there anymore, but when it was, we ate there often. We parked out the back and entered through the kitchen. Everyone at El Matador’s knew dad. I’m guessing he was their best customer. Dad was a pilot and the restaurant wasn’t too far from the airport. I think he ate lot of lunches there.
Whenever we arrived at the restaurant and even before we ordered, a waitress would deliver two small dishes of hot sauce to the table. She would place one in the middle of the table and one in front of dad, who promptly ate it like soup. I still remember the night a fellow at a nearby table followed dad’s behaviour. He nearly blew his head off. Once he caught his breath, he asked dad how he tolerated that dish of fire.
I think dad said practice.
But, I digress. I had to buy this cookbook to see how good the spicy dishes were. The chapters are titled sizzling, blazing, zesty and fiery. So let’s check out page 32 in sizzling (snacks and light meals).
Spicy chicken wings
900 g/2 lb chicken wings
11 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp tequila
1 tbsp mild chilli powder
2 dried chipotle chillies, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained and puréed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground allspice
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cumin
pinch of dried oregano
lime wedges, to serve
Cut the chicken wings into 2 pieces at the joint.
Place the chicken wings in a non-metallic dish and add the remaining ingredients. Toss well to coat, then cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the barbecue. Cook the chicken wings over hot coals, turning occasionally for 15–20 minutes, or until crisply browned and the juices run clear when a sewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Alternatively, cook in a ridged griddle pan or under a hot grill. Serve at once with the lime wedges for squeezing over.
How it played out
I haven’t cooked chicken wings for years. As much as I love them, I think all that skin and fat held me back. But hey, I bought the book and figured I had to make the page-32 recipe. Plus, a neighbour gave me a bottle of tequila that had just enough left in it to make the recipe.
I followed the instructions, except that dried chipotle chillies aren’t widely available in Australia, so used two fresh jalapeños.
Left the wings in the fridge overnight to ensure a good hit of spicy flavour, then cooked them in a ridged griddle pan.
Served with a large green salad.
The best news is that I can go back to eating chicken wings. That’s because this recipe uses only 2 tablespoons of oil, and healthy ingredients such as lime and orange juice. Plus I can go easy on the amount of skin I eat.
But seriously, it’s a lovely and easy-to-make dish that would be great for dinner, snacks or party finger food.
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