We’re only making wings from Nigel

Did you get the XTC reference? No? Sigh. I’m old. Then again, certain things are best left in the ’80s.

Not these chicken wings, though, from The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater. We loves us some Nigel: his simple, seasonal, delicious food; his homespun, pub-fireside British prose [hereafter presented in brackets]; and his autobiography, Toast (it’s an even better movie, if you can get hold of it).

This is an incredibly simple, tasty, addictive [moreish] recipe… you’ll make it again and again, guaranteed. We’ve fine tuned a couple of the steps, but the ingredients are the same: big, organic chicken or capon wings, lemons, bay leaves, flaky salt, very coarsely ground [nubbly] pepper, and olive oil.

Put a heavy roasting pan in the top 1/3 of your oven [hob] and preheat the oven to 400’F [Gas Mark 6]. In a large bowl, toss 12 large chicken wings (i.e., 24 pieces) with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp flaky salt, and 2 tsp of [nubbly] pepper. Cut 2 lemons into quarters, and squeeze them over the wings (don’t worry about seeds).

Once the pan is good and hot, remove it from the oven and dump the wings and juices into it, spreading them out so they’ll brown. Scatter the juiced lemon chunks around the pan, and tuck about 10 fresh bay leaves (or 5 dried) in amongst the wings.

Return the pan to the oven, and roast for 25 minutes or so. Flip them over – a thin, sturdy fish spatula works well here, to scrape up the caramelizing juices – and roast for another 10 minutes or thereabouts, until they’re richly browned.

Try not to burn your fingers. These go nicely with a big caesar salad, to echo the lemony-rich flavours, and a cheap soave or pinot grigio.


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