I find it interesting that for years we can go without eating a certain food, only to re-discover it, and wonder why on earth we had avoided it for so long. This has been my story with chicken wings. I could never get the hoopla over wings! I would see my friends flocking to the local “Wing Wednesday – all you can eat” and just roll my eyes! Who would want to chow down on a huge plate of fat and bones, most often coated in some sickly-sweet or excessively hot sauce?
Well, I guess I just had never found the right recipes, because since I found this feature in Donna Hay Magazine, Issue #77, I have changed my mind about these popular poultry bits. I have made a whole host of wing recipes, and this one is one of my favourites. First of all, I bought good quality antibiotic-free wings at a reputable butcher. Then I made sure to marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge. I have made this recipe a couple of times now for get-togethers, and it is beyond amazing – an exotic combination of spices tempered by the tamarind paste and coconut oil. Do your best to find fresh curry leaves as they do make a difference. I have some frozen ones in my freezer that I have used, but I like the fresh ones better – and they are pretty to use in your display! But my big hint is – the left-overs are even better the next day (if you have any left!)
Malaysian-Style Curry Chicken Wings
6 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
4 green cardamom pods
6 small fresh red chilis
6 cloves garlic, sliced
6 shallots, peeled and quartered
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup tamarind paste
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 sprigs fresh curry leaves
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 kg. chicken wings, wing tips removed and wings cut in half
Place cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom and chilis in a spice grinder and grind coarsely.
Transfer ground spices to a large bowl and add garlic, shallots, ginger, tamarind paste, honey, curry powder, curry leaves, coconut oil and salt and pepper. Mix to combine well. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place the wings on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning at the halfway point, until golden brown.