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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
José Pizarro

José Pizarro’s recipe for crisp chicken wings with mojo rojo

José Pizarro’s crisp chicken wings with mojo rojo.
A lot of bang for your buck: José Pizarro’s crisp chicken wings with mojo rojo. Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian. Food styling: Joss Herd. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food styling assistant: Georgia Rudd

The humble chicken wing is an often-overlooked gem. For one thing, they give you a lot of bang for your buck, because there’s a surprising amount of meat on those bones, so long as you’re willing to put in the effort to make the most of this amazing, finger-licking food. Here, they are lightly cooked first, to help keep them tender, then they’re crisped up. Served with the lush, spicy red salsa (they’re brilliant with allioli, too), they make great party or picnic food, or serve as a starter.

Crispy chicken wings with mojo rojo

Make sure your baking powder is aluminium-free, because some people are particularly sensitive to it. If you’re making these to go, cook them ahead of time, wrap in foil and either eat cold or warm gently over indirect heat on a barbecue.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 6

1kg chicken wings, free-range for preference
½ tsp fine sea salt
1½ tsp
baking powder
1 tbsp cornflour
½ tsp hot smoked pimentón de la Vera
2 sprigs fresh thyme
, leaves stripped
2 tbsp olive oil

For the mojo rojo
3 red peppers
3 dried chillies
1 garlic clove
, peeled
1 tsp sweet smoked pimentón de la Vera
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper
, to taste

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Dry the chicken wings very well on kitchen paper. In a bowl, mix the salt, baking powder, cornflour, pimentón and thyme, add the chicken wings and toss to coat.

Arrange the wings on a rack over a baking tray, so the fat will run off, drizzle all over with the oil, then bake for 20 minutes. Turn up the oven to 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas 6½ and cook for another 35-40 minutes, until the wings are very crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, blacken the peppers all over on a gas flame (or under a hot grill), then pop them in a freezer bag, seal and leave to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the dried chillies in boiling water.

Peel the peppers, remove and discard the stems, seeds and pith, and pop the flesh into a small food processor. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chillies, then scrape the flesh into the food processor, leaving the tough skins behind. Add the garlic, pimentón, cumin and vinegar, blitz smooth, then add the extra-virgin olive oil and blitz again. Season to taste, then tip into a bowl (or transportable container).

Serve the crisp wings straight from the oven, or wrap them in foil and serve warm or cold on a picnic (or reheat gently in their foil parcel on a barbecue), with the spicy mojo rojo for dunking them in.

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