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Piri-Piri Chicken Wings with Lemon Coriander Mayo

March 17, 2009



I am always excited when I spy a glossy new copy of Food and Drink magazine at the LCBO.  This magazine certainly supports the adage that the best things in life are free, and the Spring 2009 issue does not disappoint.  Chock full of ideas to enhance your home, tips to liven up your next gathering, introductions to tempting new libations and of course lots and lots of recipes.  

I can’t wait to bite into Chocolate Cranberry Hot Cross Buns (next weekends project) or Roasted Halibut with Clam Sauce.  But first, I had to get my hands dirty with the Piri Piri Chicken Wings with Coriander Mayo.  It was the description that had me: ‘…makes hot buffalo wings taste blah by comparison’.  Like music to my ears.

Now, obviously the folks at Food and Drink have not met me or perhaps they wouldn’t have swapped the fiery tiny red hot chili in the traditional Portuguese recipe for the milder  jalapeno to suit Canadian palates.  I think next time I’ll up the ante and try this recipe with the little red chili’s.   Mmm, my lips are burning already.

This recipe is easy to follow, but time consuming.  Peeling the skin from the blackened jalapenos took some patience (I didn’t use the gloves as recommended as it made the process even more cumbersome) but I think the results were worth the effort.  The wings were perfectly cooked, nice and juicy.  The sauce was not as spicy as I was hoping, but tasty nonetheless.   Tangy, with a nice mellow heat.  The accompanying lemon coriander mayo was delicious too, be sure to make extra as this sauce also pairs really well with fish.  


Lemon Coriander Mayo

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp smooth dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Piri-Piri Chicken Wings

6 jalapenos

2 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 lbs chicken winglets and drumettes (about 25 pieces)


1.  To make lemon-coriander mayo, stir together ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.  Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

2.  To make Piri-Piri Chicken Wings, heat a heavy skilled over medium-high heat.  Add jalapenos and garlic, toast for 10-12 minutes, turning often, until skins blacken and jalapenos and garlic are soft.  Remove from the skillet.  Put jalapenos in a small bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes. 

3. Pop garlic cloves from their skins, chop coarsely.  Wearing plastic gloves, peel as much skin as you can from jalapenos.  Coarsely chop jalapenos, discarding stems but retaining seeds.  

4.  In a small saucepan, combine jalapenos and their seeds, the garlic, oil, lemon juice and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes for flavours to blend.  Tip contents of saucepan into a food processor or blender; process until smooth.  Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  

5. Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

6.  In a large bowl, toss wings with 1/3 cup of the piri piri sauce until well coated.  Spread wings out on prepared baking sheet; roast, uncovered for 40-50 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time, until wings are golden brown and no longer pink inside.  Transfer wings to a large bowl.  Add 2-4 tbsp piri-piri sauce; toss well.  Pile wings on a warm serving platter; serve at once with Lemon Coriander Mayo for dipping.

Makes 2 main courses or 4-6 appetizer servings.

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