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Perfect match: spiced chicken wings and rosé

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for spiced chicken wings with roast garlic and chipotle salsa.

By Alice Storey
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 6
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Spiced chicken wings with roast garlic and chipotle salsa
One of the most important and delicious developments in Australian gastron­omy over the past decade or so has been the proliferation of locally produced pale, dry rosé wines modelled loosely on the gorgeous pale, dry rosé of Provence.
Yes, I know this is a big call ("One of the most important developments in gastronomy"? Seriously?), but I'm sticking to it: pale, dry rosé produced from fine-flavoured grapes such as pinot noir is a fantastically food-friendly drink that speaks of sophistication and cultural maturity. But as much as I love the style, a pale, dry rosé would be absolutely rubbish with this dish. Just think about it. Tangy buttermilk and hot spice in the marinade. Slow char-grilling. Tomatoes, chipotle chillies and garlic… Hellooo! An effete, oh-so-pale pinot rosé wouldn't stand a chance against that massive wall of flavour bearing down on your tongue.
No, what's needed is a deep magenta-coloured old-school Aussie rosé with balls: bouncy red berries, smooth 'n' sweet fruitiness and maybe some grippy tannins to round the whole thing off. A pink wine that's almost but not quite a red. And served really cold, too, in capacious tumblers. No place for fancy crystal stemware here, thank you very much.
It takes a bold, brash, deep Aussie pink to stand up to these punchy chicken wings, writes Max Allen.

Ingredients

  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp each smoked sweet paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lime
  • 1 kg chicken wings, jointed
Roast garlic and chipotle salsa
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 chipotle chillies in adobo (see note)
  • To serve: juice of 1 lime, or to taste, plus wedges
  • Pinch of caster sugar

Method

Main
  • 1
    Whisk buttermilk, spices, oil and lime rind in a bowl, season to taste, add wings, stir to coat and transfer to a non-reactive container. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 2
    For roast garlic and chipotle salsa, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap garlic in foil, roast until tender (40-50 minutes), cool slightly, squeeze flesh from skin and set aside. Meanwhile, place tomatoes cut-side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper, add onion, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (35-45 minutes). Cool, peel tomatoes, process in a food processor with remaining ingredients to a thick sauce, season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Preheat a barbecue or char-grill to medium-high. Drain wings and grill, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and serve hot with salsa and lime wedges.

Notes

Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Chipotle chillies in adobo are available from select delicatessens including Monterey Mexican Foods. Drink suggestion by Max Allen