Continuing this week’s things which taste as if they ought to cost a lot more than they did theme, here’s a recipe for chicken wings. They’re a much-overlooked bit of the bird, and this is a shame (or would be if it didn’t mean that they’re amazingly cheap), because they’re wonderfully tasty. Meat from near the bone of a chicken always tastes richer and sweeter. Grilled in a sweet sauce, the skin on the wings becomes crisp and delicious. And somehow, sticky things which demand to be eaten with the fingers are about three times tastier than the ones you can just manage with a knife and fork.
To serve four as a starter or two as a main course with rice, you’ll need:
16 chicken wings
2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce (choose something sweet here – I used Kampong Koh chilli and garlic sauce, which is made in my grandparents’ town in Malaysia)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated with a Microplane grater
Juice of half a lemon
Remove the pointy end-joint from each wing with a sharp knife. Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl and marinade the chicken pieces for a few hours or (preferably) overnight.
Place the chicken wings on a rack over some tin foil in a grill pan and grill close to the heat source under a medium flame for about six minutes on each side (or use a barbecue). Baste the chicken with the marinade from the bowl regularly as it cooks. The sauce will caramelise and the skin will bubble. If you want a sauce, put any extra marinade in a small pan and boil vigorously for a couple of minutes, then pour over the wings. Serve with a bowl on the table for the bones and plenty of paper napkins – you’re going to get very sticky fingers!