Sunday, January 16, 2011

Piri Piri Wings in the Style of Nando's

About a year ago, I stumbled on Michael Symon's Sriracha wings at Hot Sauce Daily. I fell in love with them because of their well developed spiciness and flavor. Since then, no other wings I have tried have come close to matching the taste excitement of Sriracha wings...

Until last night about 8:37 PM when I made this recipe from Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue! These piri piri wings bring a gauntlet of sensation. It's kind of like if you build a washing machine made out of heat (spicy), flavor, and "mouth-wateriness" and then throw yourself into it on spin cycle.

(Yeah, if you're counting that's about the eleventieth successful recipe I've made from this book. If you're going to even LOOK at a grill this summer, go buy this book. )

I didn't have Piri Piri chilies or sauce, so I used Raichlen's substitution recommendations. Here's a link to the original recipe.

Piri Piri Wings
adapted from Planet Barbecue!

24 wing pieces

1/4 cup Fire Ant Juice or other gourmet, premium, extra good hot sauce
1/4 cup chilies, seeded and chopped (see note)
1/4 cup garlic, coarsely chopped
1 ea Vidalia salad onion, chopped (white and green parts)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice and pulp (from one large lemon)
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt

Tossing Sauce
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp Fire Ant Juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice

First, these are supposed to be hot but I know not everyone likes the sweet burn of capsaicin. I consider myself as a "medium" heat kind of guy leaning towards "hot". Here is how I think I'd adjust this recipe for varying tastes. I haven't tried these, just my thoughts.

Put the marinade ingredients...

into a mini food processor...

And process about 6-10 pulses until well blended.


Yes. I have a Magic Bullet, don't be a hater. I got it as a birthday gift last year.

It is actually quite handy for marinades and dipping sauces. While their informercials would make any foodie cringe (who needs a food processor for an omelet?), it doesn't take up much space, it's easy to clean and I find I use it about once or twice a week for quick jobs. Plus it is super portable and easy to use out by the grills.

Marinate the chicken wings. Look how colorful and rich the marinade is. I can't wait to try the same thing on shrimp this summer.

The original version calls for overnight, Raichlen recommends 6-24 hours. I didn't have that kind of time so I broke out a tool I've had for about a year but haven't used - a FoodSaver Quick Marinator. The theory is the vacuumed atmosphere will make the marinade soak in quicker.

I doubt the "science" behind that but after making the same recipe yesterday and today, only using the quick marinade tonight, it does seem to have made a visible difference. I'll do some kind of a side by side comparison later because I know the Engineer in Larry wants to know. Maybe he and I will do a controlled experiment this year. (Sounds like another good excuse for us to get some folks together for a taste test.)

I departed from Raichlen's instructions at this point and followed my general wing cooking technique - 30-20-10 wings. I set up the Big Green Egg for indirect heat at 350 -375f. I cooked the wings for 30 minutes....

Then flipped and cooked for 20 more minutes.

Then I tossed them in the "tossing sauce" and let them cook another 5-10 minutes. Just long enough for the sauce to cook onto the wings. I reserved about 1/4 cup for a finishing sauce.

I'm actually disappointed in the pictures because the wings were so much better than they look. I know...they don't look horrible. But damn they rocked the taste. The pictures just don't do them justice.

[Standard Disclaimer] I didn't receive any compensation for this post. I got the Raichlen book for free last year from his publisher but have bought more of his books since then. The Magic Bullet was a gift from a family member. And Fire Ant Juice is just the best hot sauce on the face of the planet, it makes everything else look ridiculous. Oh, we also bought the FoodSaver Quick Marinator at retail.


  1. These look so fantastic and make me long for summer.

  2. I keep my eye on your wing recipes. This wing recipe would be the third one to take from you and prepare from my family. Thanks again!! I will let you know how they turn out.


  3. I have indeed pined for the magic bullet. But I'd rather have these wings!

  4. Awesome recipe and the pictures look great, but I really love the disclaimer! :)

  5. Something called Fire Ant Sauce has to be super, duper spicy. But flavorful. It'll be summer before you know it, and we'll have to pull out the grill soon.

  6. I still want to try a piri piri sauce recipe. That magic bullit looks pretty handy. I need another kitchen gadget like a need another hole in the head.

  7. You're absolutely killing me with these wing posts. I have two family packs of wings in the freezer just dieing to be turned into your killer meals, but I'm still stuck for a few more days until Bev's diet goes to a more relaxed phase. Thanks for the mention and I think a taste test is a great excuse to get together.

  8. Oh those look so good, I could eat them right now with my coffee!!! YUM! I have seen this recipe in Raichlen's book and have been meaning to try it too!! So many recipes so little time!!!

  9. Sounds like a great recipe I'll have to try. Did the skin on the wings crisp up?

  10. This recipe is a great find, Chris. That marinade alone made my mouth water - and the finishing sauce was the coup de grĂ¢ce. My guys will swoon when I make them. And I love the heat guide. Hilarious yet helpful.

  11. Whenever I heard women talk about their magic bullets, I assumed they were talking about something completely different. ;)

  12. I'm stuck on the image of tossing myself into the washing machine on the spin cycle! LMAO!!!!! I'm kind of in between the "where's my pacifier" and mild type of heat person. I'm going to make sir sportsalot grill some of these this summer (he refuses to grill during so cal's winter months....(eye roll))

  13. Don't be ashamed of the Magic Bullet b/c you'll make me feel's my favorite kitchen tool. Great wings! And photos.

  14. These sound fabulous. PS. Love my magic bullet! Really great photos btw ;)

  15. I like your pictures - especially the last shot! They look incredibly good! I almost bought one of his books last summer - will definitely have one this summer.

  16. When I'm in the mood for chicken wings, which is rare, it's usually because I have a spice craving that NEEDS to be satisfied IMMEDIATELY. No knock-off mild version will do. Guess I know what I'll be making next summer...

  17. I've been looking for a Superbowl wing recipe and this sure look like a winner!

  18. Ok, so here's an "AHA!" moment in my cooking development. On Brent's BGE blog a few months back you made a comment about your 30-20-10 wing process and I've tried it several times. I always burn the h3ll out of my wings. Today I learned the missing link. Indirect heat. AHA! And by the way, I saw Steven Raichlen's tweet about this post too. That's good pub, Chris! Awesome!

  19. Oh my gosh, Chris! Do these look good or what? I believe I could probably make a pig out of myself while eating these. Will definitely bookmark this page in my copy of the book. They look wonderful!

    P.S. I've had Symon's sriracha wings in his restaurant and you are right. They are quite literally the best wings ever.

  20. I've been reading through your blog now, after just having discovered it, googling "beer cheese soup." You are so my new best friend! All these recipes look amazing, and I love a good, Southern cook. (P.S. - I have a magic bullet too, and it really is great, even if the infomercials are shameful.)

  21. I just saw some Piri Piri sauce not to long ago...I need to try to remember where! I think the "medium" will probably work for me, though not for my husband LOL.

  22. Love all the pictures!!!!I am drooling here! They look fantastic...I love spicy food!

  23. You are so funny - your pictures look GREAT! My husband would love, love, love these spicy wings and so would I!


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