The list of ingredients for the marinade in this recipe is completely “fusion”. It contains maple syrup and honey from Vermont, Ethiopian Berbere* spice mix, Indian-inspired curry spice mix, French mustard and Japanese soy sauce… However, once you’ll prepare the dish and taste it, I’m sure you’ll agree that the “fusion” here is far from “confusion”, as happens too often…
All the flavors work perfectly together and the result is tasty, spicy, sweet and salty chicken wings, with a beautiful deep color and wonderful aroma.
I served the wings with a fresh arugula salad (simply dressed with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil), which complemented the sweet and spicy wings. They are also great with roasted potatoes or white rice.
* Berbere is a wonderful Ethiopian chili-spice mix. It contains numerous spices, including cardamom, fenugreek, cloves, ginger and more. If you can’t find it locally, it is available online. I highly recommend having it in the kitchen. It is great in stews and roasts, including roasted vegetables, and legume dishes.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Roasting time: about 50 minutes + 10 minutes resting time
2.6 lbs (1.2 Kg) small chicken wings
For the marinade:
½ stick (55 grams) butter, cut in cubes
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp curry powder (I used McCormick’s)
1 tsp Ethiopian Berbere spice mix
2 tsp salt
1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat, mixing, until the butter is melted and the sauce is on the verge of boiling. Take off the heat and bring to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, separate the wings into two sections (just look for the fatty line between each part and cut through it with a sharp heavy knife), remove and discard the tip part. Pat dry well with paper towels.
3. Line a large roasting pan with foil and baking paper and place the chicken wings in it, in one layer. Pour the marinade over the wings. Turn a few times with kitchen tongs, so that all the parts are coated with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
4. Remove the pan from the fridge about 20 minutes before roasting, and let reach room temperature.
5. Preheat the oven to 425F (215C). (Make sure the oven is hot before roasting, or your wings will steam and not roast.)
6. Roast for 20 minutes, and carefully remove the pan out the oven, closing the oven door to keep it hot. Using kitchen tongs, turn the wings over, and place back in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes longer, take out of the oven as before, and turn the wings again. Place back in the oven and roast for 10 minutes more. Turn off the oven and leave the pan in the oven for 10 minutes before serving.