I recently posted a review of The Whole Chicken, a book focused on chicken recipes, written by the founder of successful chicken wing restaurants. Today, I’m sharing Wings and Things by Ben Ford and David Turofsky, also published in 2020 and also from the founders of successful chicken wing restaurants, Wingmans.
In a nutshell, this too is a book full of tasty chicken recipes, along with a great selection of tempting sides. As the title suggests, there is more of a focus on chicken wing recipes here, with many of the recipes coming from the duo’s popular street food stalls and restaurants.
The book starts with a brief intro telling the story of how David and Ben came together to form Wingmans, and then you’re straight into the recipes. These are presented in nine chapters: Get your wings on (which is, as you might expect, the longest), Fun with buns, Sharing’s caring, The big Feed, Veggie, Things to go with wings, Hitting that sweet spot, It’s 5 o’clock somewhere right?, and #Staysaucy.
New chapter pages give a brief idea of what the chapter is about, and the Get your wings on page provides a little extra info on the three parts of a chicken wing, what oil is best for frying, how to tenderise chicken, and what to coat the chicken with before cooking. Incidentally, if you read online reviews for the book from cooks who don’t own deep fat fryers, you could be forgiven for assuming that everything is deep fried, but there are plenty of recipes here that involve smoking, grilling, barbecuing, and baking, alongside those that are indeed fried.
That said, there are no extra chapters providing guidance on equipment, key ingredients, cuts of chicken or commonly used methods, as are usually included in cookbooks these days. Wings and Things follows a more basic format and focuses on sharing as many many recipe as possible within its pages. The recipes providea wide range of tempting flavour combinations, using ingredients and influences from around the world.
In the chicken wings chapter alone, there are recipes for Shanghai, Buffalo, Seoulja Boi (Korean-inspired), Ko Phan Bang (Thai-inspired), Jamaican Heatwave, Maple-candied Pecans and Bacon, Hoisin Buff Ting, Szechuan Salt and Pepper, What Da Pho (Vietnamese-inspired), Miso Caramel, Stateside Sauce, Jerk It, Satays’faction Guaranteed, Roasted Bone Marrow BBQ, Honey Monster, and Cajun Persuasion, plenty of variation and inspiration.
Similarly, other chapters offer boldly named dishes with bold flavours to match: The Route 66 (a chicken burger with garnishes including onion pickles and burnt onion jam), The Crumpelstiltkin (toasted crumpets with breaded chicken breast, stilton butter, fig and bacon jam and crispy chicken skin), Cajun Liver Sliders with Burnt Corn Mayo and Chicken-Fat Onions, Buffalo Chicken Dip with Frickles and Ranch, Sticky BBQ Chicken Thighs with Celeriac and Bourbon-Glazed Onions, XO Glazed Chicken with Chinese Broccoli, Tea-Brined Bird with Buttered Greens and Whipped Mash, Grilled Chicken Shawarma with all the Trimmings, Blackened Broccoli and Louisiana Red Pepper Hot Sauce with Salsa Verde, Oyster Mushroom Tempura with Curry Lead Mayo, ‘Nduja Baby Potatoes (with chimichurri), Smokey Beans with Dirty Garlic and Paprika, Truffled Mac and Cheese Balls, Pickled Kohlrabi with Fennel and Mustard Seeds, Green Papaya and Ginger Pickle, Hot Chilli Turnips, Charred Cavolo Nero with Crispy Anchovies, Mama’s Peach Crumble wtih Boozy Apples and Caramel Custard, Frozen PB&J Smores Slider, Cherry Almond Ice Cream Float, Marshmallow Choco Lux, and a list of sauces and condiments to finish it off.
Photography is bright, colourful and high-contrast, and is a useful reference to how each recipe should turn out.
Our efforts from the book so far have mostly been pretty good, especially when it comes to chicken wings. We have used three different wing recipes (on wing-sized pieces of boneless chicken thigh as we weren’t able to get chicken wings at the time) and each one came out fabulously well; they were all, to borrow a phrase, finger-licking good! The meat was moist and tasty, the coatings were generous and crunchy getting into all the crags and folds of the thigh pieces, and the sauces (for the two recipes that featured them) were absolutely delicious.
The Maple-Glazed Chicken wasn’t such a winner – the recipe instructs you to pour the maple syrup is over the bird for the last 10 minutes of its roasting time, and imparts almost no flavour to the bird in that short timeframe. However, we collected the lemony onions and roasting juices from underneath the bird (which are ignored in the recipe), skimmed off the fat and made them into a gravy which helped to bring a rich maple flavour back to the meal. The creamed corn side recipe was also a saving grace, and one we’ll make again as a side for other meals.
There are plenty more recipes bookmarked to try, including some of the oven-baked and bbq-grilled chicken wings, appealing vegetable side dishes and condiments, and a delicious drink or two. If you are looking for chicken wing inspiration, there are plenty of tasty ideas here that will soon see you enjoying eating-out flavours at home.
Recipes From Wings and Things
We are delighted to share the three recipes from the book, with permission from publisher Quadrille.
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wings and Things: Lip-Smacking Chicken Recipes by Ben Ford and David Turofsky from publisher Quadrille.