Hot-and-Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings
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.
Yield: 4 to 6
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- 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.
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