Wednesday 19 September 2018

Stuffed Chicken Wings

While cooking for our charity supperclub last weekend, we discovered what is possibly the holy grail of chicken wings, and it is not in buffalo form. I do love buffalo, don't get me wrong, but this transcends it. It takes the wing tip and uses it as a sticky handle, and using it you can lever it to your face to bite into. A sweet salty glaze, made using fish sauce and sugar and dark soy, coats the wing to make sure you cannot come away cleanliness intact. It is also a fact(oid) that pork and salt and sugar are the holy trinity of flavour. 

Fatty pork mince - crucial for juiciness - is mixed with red curry paste for heat and fragrance, and within it slivered lime leaves to add some extra oomph. Woodear mushroom and glass noodles snipped through help lighten the mixture as well as an added texture contrast. 

In short, they're fucking awesome. 

They're an amalgam of several peoples' thoughts, recipes and experiments and they lean most heavily on Oishin Boy's and Pok Pok's. I first tried Lap's a couple of years ago at Grillstock in Bristol; he smokes his stuffed wings over coconut until they're beautifully bronzed. Pok Pok's famous wings are sticky goodness, and worth a go if you can't be arsed with deboning them. The glass noodle idea came from my friend's Thai mum - I'd been uhming and ahing over lightening the density with some medium-firm tofu, and I might still yet but the glass noodles are a marvellous texture. So, a group effort really, with ideas borrowed from here and there, which is how I believe most of the great recipes come from. 

You need the pickled cucumbers. The mint, coriander and chopped red chillis help too. You might need a beer after the de-boning. 

Stuffed Chicken Wings

Stuffs 9 wings, so feeds 3 as a starter / snack

9 chicken wings, wing tip and winglet de-boned only - here's a video on de-boning, we took the drumette off 
150gr fatty minced pork
1 heaped tsp red curry pasted (I used Mae Ploy cos I had enough going on here to make it from scratch) 
A hefty pinch of salt
A smaller pinch of sugar
5gr shredded dried woodear mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water and drained
10gr dried glass noodles, rehydrated in hot water, drained and snipped into 2cm pieces
3 lime leaves, rolled up and shredded finely 
2 stalks of spring onions, minced finely 
500ml cooking oil
300gr cooked glutinous rice flour

For the glaze: 

100ml fish sauce (I used Three Crabs - other brands may be saltier so be warned) 
400ml water
200gr caster sugar
1 tbsp dark soy 

For garnish: 

Pickled cucumber spears 
(de-seed cucumber, slice into spears and soak in a solution of rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar and water - it should be heavy on the vinegar as you want these to be tart. Make these at least 4 hours in advance or the day before) 
Picked mint leaves
Picked coriander leaves
Fried garlic - mince 6 cloves of garlic and fry in 1cm of oil until golden, then drain) 
Chopped red chillis

Mix the pork with the red curry paste, salt, sugar, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, and spring onions. Using a teaspoon, gently stuff into the chicken wing, using your fingers to press it in snugly. full to the top of the wing, do not over-stuff. Roll in the cooked glutinous rice flour, shake off and deep fry for 9 minutes until lightly bronzed. Set to one side. You can deep fry the chicken wings in advance and keep in the oven in a low heat (70 degrees C) if desired.

Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, whisk until the sugar has dissolved, and then simmer together until syrupy - about 15 minutes but eyeball it. Also taste it - if it's too salty add more sugar, too sweet add more fish sauce. You want it to be on the sweet side. 

In a large wok or non-stick pan, on a low heat combine the chicken wings with the glaze and toss well. Pile the chicken wings on a plate, tuck the cucumber spears around it, and throw herb leaves, fried garlic and chilli at it. Then serve with many napkins. 

(Thanks to Theo Tennant for the pictures taken from our Supperclub - you didn't think I got suddenly nifty with the camera, did you?)

Thursday 13 September 2018

NOW CLOSED - Ride Africa Charity Raffle - Prizes

UPDATE: The raffle is now closed, and £4120 was raised. Thanks so much to everyone that donated!

In November I will be cycling 500km across Kenya with Child.Org and in order to fundraise, I've asked my favourite restaurant people if they fancied donating a prize. As it happens, they're a bunch of very generous people - HOORAY!

The link to buy tickets is HERE.

Each ticket is £10 so please only donate £10 or in multiples of 10. You can buy as many tickets as you wish. Please include your name on the donation listing.

On Friday 28th September I will be using a random prize winner generator to draw names for all the prizes. Some of the prizes may have Ts and Cs, sorry but I am not in control of them.

Winners will be notified by email and will be sent details on how to claim the prize.


SMOKESTAK - London's most delicious barbecue restaurant has kindly donated a £100 tab OMG imagine how many pork ribs you could have! 

DUCK & WAFFLE - Dine in the clouds (almost) 24 hours a day. Has anyone ever gone for breakfast through to lunch, then dinner? I'm not sure you could on £100 but you could give it a go... 

GUINEA GRILL - A fantastic steak restaurant in Mayfair where you can order lamb chops as a side dish! Swoon. Also £100 tab.

MEAT LIQUOR - needs no introduction to some of the best burgers in London. £100 tab for you to eat burgers and sink cocktails to your heart's content (London branches only).

RAMBLA - If you don't order the cannelloni you are missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures. Ace tapas in Soho with £100 tab to win.

BLACKLOCK - the full she-bang for one lucky winner - a cocktail, carafe of wine, the all-in-experience (hello meat heaven!) and cheesecake to finish you off. 

CHIKN - From ChickN'Sours, this is a pretty special one as you'll be the first person ever to get a breading masterclass so you can fry your own chikn at home! Followed by a humungous £40 tab that you should definitely bring your friends to come and help you out with otherwise you'll turn into a burger yourself.

OLDROYD / THE DUKE OF RICHMOND - Depending on whether you're up for a date night or casual pub grub you can choose where to spend this £50 voucher. Can I come?

FORZA WIN - Peckham's most beautiful warehouse will stuff you with dinner for two with a bottle of wine - they've just trademarked the Custardo which is probably the most genius invention since custard itself.

ST LEONARDS - £30 to spend on cocktails and bar snacks (excludes restaurant). Do not and I mean do not miss the white clam pie. Or the mortadella hot dog. Actually just order everything.

BRUNSWICK HOUSE - go and marvel at the millions of light features as well as the incredible food with an extra £50 to spend.

BAOZI INN ROMILLY STREET - 2 lucky winners will get £30 each to spend on colourful dumplings and spicy noodles. They do dim sum ALL NIGHT so you can eat dumps to your heart's content.

WINE! LOTS OF WINE! Or more specifically, a mixed 6 case of wine from Red Squirrel Wines

MORE WINE! - A case of Tandem, a Moroccan Syrah from the wonderful Drop Wine. If you haven't downloaded the app then please do because goddamn they deliver wine to your very door. A little about the wine: Tandem is a rare example of Moroccan wine available in these parts, though it's made by a Frenchman - Alain Graillot - who's best known for his efforts in Crozes-Hermitage, where he is considered one of the grandest of the grands fromages. Legend goes he spotted some Syrah vines while cycling around Morocco and decided to take a run at them. This is rich, juicy, and full of spice and leather. Probably not one to drink with a sardine. Tagine all the way. Or steak. Or a roasted aubergine. Anything chunky and smoky. 

BREDDOS TACOS - £30 to spend on tequila and tacos (or whatever you fancy eating and drinking) in either Soho or Clerkenwell. Can't say much dreamier than that.

BANCONE - I've made my way through 4 of their pasta dishes and most of their starters and I can guarantee you're going to have a glorious time here, with £30 to spend.

DRAPERS ARMS - the pub-which-can't-be-a-pub-cos-damn-that-food-is-so-good are offering a £30 tab.

TEMPER CITY - Steak! Fish! Mezcal! Drunken fun-times to be had at the City restaurant with £30 to spend.

ZELMAN MEATS - I dream of the truffle chips and I once drank 7 martinis and didn't even get drunk because I had eaten so much of their delicious meat so you can too with £30 to spend here. 

GOODMAN - USDA steak, UK steak, lobster Mac n' cheese, MARTINIS! Martinis! £50 to spend. 

HAWKSMOOR - I once ate a 1.2kg bone-in ribeye all to myself at Hawksmoor and it was no trouble whatsoever because it was just so damn delicious. Also the purveyor of one of London's finest roast dinners, there's £30 to spend here. 

A PERSONALISED PORK PIE FOR 6 from the genius that is Calum Franklin, of Holborn Dining Rooms

Xu Restaurant - A gorgeous tea-house setting, don't miss the taro dumplings stuffed with sweet cured sausage with this £30 prize. 

EL PASTOR - £30 to stuff yourself silly on in-house-made tacos in London Bridge. Don't miss the sesame tuna tostadas!

SMOKING GOAT - £30 to spend at this fiery inferno of delicious Thai food. Did you know you can have chicken curry for brunch there? No? Well YOU CAN! 

SMITH & WOLLENSKY - Bottomless brunch and bottomless prosecco for TWO! You and your mate / partner / boss / mum / nan / aunt / uncle / anyone can go and have a fizzy start to the day. 

THE WASABI COMPANY are gifting a fresh wasabi rhizome and a grater, as well as a bottle of Sudachi Kombu Ponzu (which is an incredible dipping sauce for prawn wontons, FYI) amnd a bottle of sanbaizu. What the hell is sanbaizu?! Well it's a blended vinegar that works beautifully on salad dressings, but you can also use it to marinade vegetables to pickle them. What an adventure you'd have!