Recipe: Nigella’s Dragon Wings

Recipe: Nigella’s Dragon Wings

dragon-wingsIt’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe but the one I am sharing today is unbelievably easy – it’s Dragon Wings by Nigella Lawson. I came across this in a special supplement featured in the May issue of BBC Good Food magazine and when I posted the pictorial evidence on Instagram, tongues were wagging and no doubt, mouths watering too.

Now Nigella’s recipes often are…well, typically Nigella-fied. I mean, she renames ingredients to sound pretentious. Sorry Nigella but what is instant espresso powder? Isn’t that the same thing as instant espresso coffee available in most UK supermarkets and not somewhere off Portobello Road? Any way! This recipe is so simple, easy and quick minus the Nigella waffle.

I have made this a couple of times and the first time I couldn’t source a few ingredients (like rice vinegar) so I winged it (arf!) with balsamic vinegar instead and it didn’t taste horrible at all. I was baffled with “garlic olive oil” though. Leanne suggested it’s just cloves of garlic soaked in olive oil (like chillies are). I didn’t have any prepared so I used olive oil and added fresh garlic. I also didn’t have vegetable oil but sesame seed oil and used that instead. Sesame seed has depth and flavour so I figured adding this would just enhance the flavours. I’m not sure why two different oils are required but if you are going to use two, then they ought to be distinctive otherwise I say use whatever you have – olive, vegetable, sunflower – use it all, dammit.

It’s meant to be a mild marinade but frankly, with ‘dragon’ in its name, it should be red hot and fiery so I added a teaspoon of red chilli powder for a kick and a splash of soy sauce too. The chilli powder adds the fantastic red colouring that you see. When I made it without, the wings looked pretty horrible.

Right, here’s what you need:

5 red chillies deseeded (or one or two scotch bonnets)
1 red pepper, deseeded and core removed
2 x 8cm pieces of ginger, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1 tbsp fine salt
2 tsp rice or balsamic vinegar
80ml olive oil
80ml vegetable/sunflower/sesame seed oil
Cloves of garlic (the more, the merrier if you love the stinking rose)
20 chicken wings (I like the skin one but remove it if you’re icky)

1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
Chopped coriander to garnish (compulsory)

Serves 8-10 (halve the measurements for fewer mouths)

Simply blitz all the ingredients (except for the coriander) in a food processor, stick the wings in a sandwich or freezer bag and pour it in, making sure they’re coated thoroughly. Then leave overnight in the fridge to marinate. You can pour straight onto a roasting tin and bake but I doubt you will achieve the infused flavour. 24 hours, ok? You can marinate two days ahead but you must omit the salt and add it just before cooking. Also this can be frozen in the bag of marinade, omiting the salt, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and put the bag in a bowl in case of any leakage. Then sprinkle with salt before roasting.

Speaking of which, slam it in the oven for 40 minutes in a shallow baking tray at gas mark 7 or 220C and uhh maaaa ghaaaad! Fricking amazing! I mean, so good roasted, can you imagine what these will be like on a barbecue? And there we have it – an appetizing starter that will look like you’ve spent ages slaving over. Bon appetit!

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