Monday, 15 October 2018

Hot and Spicy Wings, Onions and Potatoes

Hot and spicy wings, onions and potatoes

Who doesn't love chicken wings? They are tasty, succulent, satisfying, fun to eat - in fact, they tick all the important boxes and more when we are looking for something for dinner. If there is one downfall many people have, however, when it comes to particularly cooking wings at home, it is a failure to realise just how incredibly versatile they are as well as enjoyable. Do you maybe only eat them from your favourite fast food restaurant, always prepared in the same fashion? Do you cook them at home but always use the same spices and accompaniments? This is just one very straightforward idea to take wings out of any established comfort zone and hopefully and ideally get you thinking of other ways in which you can flavour and prepare these special treats.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

12 chicken wings
3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon medium hot chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
White pepper
8 baby potatoes
1 medium red onion
1 large green chilli
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaf (cilantro), plus extra to garnish


If you have the time, you could prepare the spiced oil and marinate the chicken wings for longer than in this recipe but that is not absolutely essential.

Wash the potatoes and cut them in half, unpeeled. Add them to a pot of cold, slightly salted water and bring to a simmer for about twenty minutes or so until cooked. Drain, allow to steam off for a few minutes then cover and leave to cool completely (around half an hour should be sufficient). This is quite important as if you assemble the dish for roasting when the potatoes are still hot, they will tend to absorb some of the oil rather than roast in it.

Potatoes are firstly boiled before being roasted

When the potatoes are on to cook, measure out the oil in to a large glass or stone bowl. Add the curry powder, chilli powder and garaam masala and season well with salt and white pepper.

Spices and seasonings are added to oil

Take a wooden spoon and mix the spices and seasonings in to the oil to form a lump free light paste.

Spices are stirred in to the oil

Cut off and discard the tips from the chicken wings if they are still present. Cut the main body of each wing in half at the natural joint. Add them all to the oil and carefully stir fold them around to evenly coat. Cover with clingfilm and set aside to marinade while the potatoes are cooking and cooling.

Wings are stirred through spiced oil

Put your oven on to preheat to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Empty the chicken wings in to a large, deep, ovenproof dish, being sure to include as much of the seasoned oil as possible. Add the potatoes. Peel the onion, cut it in half down through the core then lay each half flat and slice to around a quarter inch. Separate each slice in to strands before adding to the wings and potatoes. Top the chilli before slicing thinly in to discs and also adding to the cooking vessel.

Wings, potatoes and onion are added to baking dish

You can try to combine everything using a spoon but this can lead to spillage and take quite some time. The best and quickest way by far to combine everything well is to use your hands. Be sure to wash them especially well afterwards due to handling the chilli.

Combined wings, potatoes and onion are ready for the oven

Place the dish in to your oven for a total of forty minutes, removing it to stir briefly (with a spoon this time!) half way through cooking.

Wings and accompaniments are stirred half way through cooking

When the wings are ready, scatter with the chopped coriander/cilantro and carefully stir it through.

Coriander is added to roasted wings

Set the dish aside for ten minutes uncovered to let the wings rest. Garnish with the last of the coriander immediately before serving as a sharing platter for two.

Coriander is carefully stirred through wings, onion and poratoes

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Spicy Spanish Tortilla with Mixed Veg

Spicy Spanish tortilla half with mangetout and stem broccoli

A Spanish tortilla is simply a thick omelette, traditionally made to include onion and potato. It is nothing to do with the crisp like tortilla chips sold in foil bags in supermarkets. They are usually an inch or more thick and are cut in to wedges (like pizza) to serve, either hot or cold. I've made this one a little bit thinner to suit my purpose at the time. This recipe also sees the addition of some dried basil and smoked paprika to give the dish a little bit of extra herb and spice flavour but both are optional. It can be served with your veg of choice but the mangetout and tender stem broccoli served in this instance came conveniently together in a pack from the supermarket and were super quick and easy to cook.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

7 or 8 baby new potatoes
3 large eggs
White pepper
Generous pinch dried basil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Olive oil
1 medium red onion
Handful mangetout
Handful tender stem broccoli stalks


Wash the potatoes but leave them unpeeled then cut them in half. Add the pieces to a pot of cold salted water and bring the water to a simmer for about twenty minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked. Drain and set aside to steam off while you prepare the eggs and fry the onion. Note that it's not necessary for the potatoes to cool but letting them steam off and lose the extra moisture is essential. Alternatively, you could cook them in advance and store them in the fridge overnight to save time on the night you are eating. They would have to be fried a little longer at a later stage in this recipe in that case to heat them through.

Boiling halved baby new potatoes

Break the eggs in to a bowl and season with some salt, white pepper, the basil and the smoked paprika. Beat with a fork or small hand whisk until just combined.

Put your kitchen grill (broiler) on to preheat to its highest setting.

Eggs and seasonings for tortilla

Peel the onion and cut it in half down through the core. Lay each half flat on your chopping board and slice to around a quarter inch. Pour two or three tablespoons of olive oil in to a large non-stick frying pan or skillet and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the onion and fry it off over a medium heat for two or three minutes until the strands are separated and just starting to soften.

Starting to fry onions

Add the potatoes to the pan and fry for a further minute or two to just slightly crisp the edges (remember to fry for an extra minute or two if the potatoes have been allowed to cool).

Potatoes are added to lightly fried onions

Ensure the potato and onion pieces are fairly evenly distributed around the pan before carefully pouring in the egg mixture.

Spicy egg mixture is poured over potatoes and onion

Wash the mangetout and stem broccoli before adding to a pan of salted boiling water. Simmer for three minutes before draining at your sink through a colander.

Mangetout and stem broccoli are added to boiling salted water

After a few minutes, you will see the egg is set almost all the way to the top. At this stage, put your pan under the hot grill for a minute or two to complete the setting of the eggs.

Tortilla is almost cooked and ready to go under the grill

When the pan comes out from under the grill, you will see that the eggs have risen slightly as well as set.

Spicy Spanish tortilla

Remember not to cut the tortilla in the pan with a metal knife or you will likely damage and ruin the pan. Either slide it on to a plate for cutting or cut with a plastic spatula. It should be soft enough to do this no problem. Lay half the tortilla on each of two serving plates before adding the drained vegetables.

Tortilla half is plated