Beer Style: India Pale Ale
Beer and wings is a pairing that can be found in bars the length and breadth of North America – yet many still serve their finger-lickin’ wings with lager. We beg to differ; quick and greasy foods are best served with something more complex. Hop bitterness cuts through fat, cleaning the palate for the next bite, so with these easy-to-cook chicken wings look for the quintessential US craft beer style, the India pale ale. Our flagship Punk IPA has the bitterness to aid the demolition of as big a bucket of wings as you can find.
Pour a bottle of Punk IPA into a glass and make a mental note of the aromas that result. Tropical fruit, citrus and a hint of caramel sweetness – these are the three pillars that will deal with the richness of the chicken and make the perfect pairing!
SERVES 6 Ingredients: 1 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1kg (2lb 4oz) chicken wings 1 large knob of butter ketchup and mayonnaise, to serve
Wings can be done in several ways: dropping them into hot fat gets the job done quicker, but for best results, bake them in a hot oven; the circulating air will dry out the skin and make it seriously crispy (or, to raise the bar, mix equal parts flour and Punk IPA with an egg and a teaspoon of baking powder for the ultimate battered wings).
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and mix the dry ingredients together in the largest clear plastic bag you can find. At this point you can sprinkle in pretty much whatever you like, to give different flavour wings – cayenne pepper, curry powder to raise the heat, or oregano, thyme and dried parsley for a herb crusting. Ras el hanout would give you amazing Moroccan-style wings; it really is between you and the contents of your spice rack. Heck, you can even make up your own secret blend and pre-load it into an empty jar for when the wings-craving (inevitably) strikes.
If you buy prepared wings, throw them into the bag and get coating. If you’ve got whole wings, you’ll need to do a bit of prep. Cut them into their natural three sections: the tip, the centre chunk (the wingette) and the drumstick-like drumette.
Take a hefty knife and carefully bash through the joints to separate the three parts – the latter two can go into the bag. The wingtips won’t have as much meat on them, so are better suited for making stock with. Make sure all the pieces of chicken are evenly coated in the herb/spice mix and you’re ready to go!
Put the butter on a chunky baking tray and let it melt in the oven for a moment – this will coat the wings and ensure that the dry covering they currently have won’t just burn in the heat. Empty the bag of wings into the melted butter and toss so they are (a) covered, and (b) evenly spread. Then close the oven door and let them get to it for 20 minutes. Come back and turn them, then cook for another 20 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with ketchup and mayonnaise. The challenge then is not to start eating them before they have cooled so you can actually hold them. It’s difficult, take it from us.
Recipes, beer and food pairings and more in Brewdog: Craft Beer for the People