Hot-and-Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings

Hot-and-Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings Recipe
Photo: John Kernick
Richard Blais explores his British roots at his Atlanta restaurant, The Spence. Lemon curd and malt liquor—both British in origin—are the surprise ingredients in his stellar chicken wings.

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4 to 6

Recipe from

Food & Wine

Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hours


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons black pepper, coarsely ground
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup seltzer
1/2 cup malt liquor (high-alcohol beer)
2 1/2 pounds (about 16) chicken wings
Vegetable oil, for frying


In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic; cook over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Whisk in the lemon curd, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Off the heat, stir in the hot sauce and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk both flours with the cornstarch. Add the seltzer and malt liquor; whisk until smooth. Season with salt. Add the chicken wings to the batter and turn to coat.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Scrape the excess batter from the wings. Working in batches, fry the wings in the hot oil for 3 minutes, until the crust is just set and pale golden. Drain on a wire rack and air-dry for 10 minutes.

Return the oil to 350°. Fry the wings a second time, in batches, until deep mahogany in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 170°, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the wings on the rack.

In a large bowl, gently toss the fried wings with the lemon curd-pepper sauce. Transfer the wings to a platter and serve right away.


Richard Blais,

August 2012
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