Vindaloo chicken wings. It had to happen. Ultra-crispy wings in a spicy vindaloo inspired sauce. How can you not want that?
Not enough to get your attention? There’s a crazy tasty dipping sauce too. This is just good living.
Stop for a second. Think about it. Chicken wings. Vindaloo. Put those together in your mind. Vindaloo chicken wings. I can’t stop eating them.
This is not Indian. Not fusion either. It’s Indian-ish. Indian inspired. Fun with Indian ingredients. And I’m absolutely loving it.
Maybe not the healthiest. If you’re watching your weight. This is anti-diet food. Absolutely irresistible anti-diet food.
But if you’re game to walk an extra kilometre or three to balance things out? Read on.
It’s not about a hot sauce
I had a vision. Buffalo goes to India. Falls in love. Makes little buffalo vindaloo chicken wings. Beautiful little vindaloo chicken wings…
I love buffalo wings. Franks red hot. Butter. Wings. Blue cheese dressing. There’s no glebekitchen version. Because I can’t do better. It’s already perfect.
But I did take my cues from it. Hot sauce. Butter. Wings. Dip. That’ll work? Right? And off I went down a path to hell.
Turns out you can’t make a decent hot sauce from powdered spices. At least I can’t. I tried. Read. Thought about it.
And in the end? Epic fail. Don’t try. Waste of time. And ingredients.
Turns out you can’t believe everything on the internet. Shocking. I know. Totally rocked my world too.
The whole concept is fundamentally flawed. Not sure what I was thinking. Why I had hope. Raw spices are terrible. Especially in large quantities.
You can’t magically change fundamentals. No matter how bad you want it. Sad. But true.
I know better. So I have no excuse. I’m pleading temporary insanity. Throwing myself on the mercy of the court.
Vindaloo wing sauce – the aha moment
Vindaloo chicken wings are buffalo wings. Done Indian-ish. Subtle difference in perspective. Total about face in approach.
Turns out it’s obvious. Once you see it. Blooming spices. That’s the key.
Boring. I know. Same as pretty much every Indian recipe on glebekitchen. But if it ain’t broke why fix it?
It’s immutable. It just is. And yet I had to think about it. Embarrassing really…
There is one unsubtle difference though. Butter. Blooming spices in butter.
Not ghee. Butter. Because buffalo chicken wing sauce is about butter. And butter is not the same as ghee.
Those milk solids? They’re tasty. There’s a reason you don’t put ghee on toast.
That flavour is important. A big part of what makes vindaloo chicken wings work in fact.
One important note. Those milk solids can burn. So you need to be careful. Gentle. Low and slow. That’s critical. You need to pay attention. Seriously.
Burn this and you get burnt spiced. And burnt butter. That’s a double whammy of full on seriously not delicious. I know. I did it. Really, really bad.
It’s not hard though. Just mind your pan. Pay attention. Nail this and you get buttery spiced goodness. Perfect for vindaloo chicken wings.
Dare to be different with your dip
There’s an Indian restaurant trick that nobody talks about. For dips. And it’s a good one.
I used to struggle with it. Couldn’t figure it out. My dips just weren’t as good as the ones I was being served. I had to be told. And I’m going to tell you.
Indian dips are about yoghurt. Everybody knows that. Common knowledge. Cooking dogma even. That is a mental trap.
A trap I fell into. Hard. Even when it was on the table in front of me.
Turns out nobody told the better Indian restaurants. The funky ones. So they aren’t constrained. Dogma free zone.
They use a secret ingredient. A very not Indian ingredient. A wonderful French ingredient in fact.
Adds creaminess. Mouth feel. Things you are never going to get from yoghurt. Not ever.
It’s a good trick. I use it all the time. Now I know. And so do you.
Mayo. Sour cream. Coriander green chili chutney. That makes one amazing dip. Try that even if you aren’t making vindaloo chicken wings. On a lamb burger maybe. That’s a trip to crazy tasty town.
Twice fried vindaloo chicken wings
There’s no secret here. Deep fried is best. Grilled over charcoal is really good. But deep fried is king.
What’s better than deep fried? I’m glad I asked. Double deep fried is what. That’s how you get extra crispy wings. Wings that stand up to sauce.
It’s new math. Extra crispy wings + vindaloo sauce = crispy vindaloo chicken wings. Ok. That’s not actually new math. It’s my math. My math is more fun…
Math or not math there’s food science at work here. Want to go deep? Look into it. Low and slow. Masterclass says initial fry at 275F. A second fry with hot oil. That’s a path to magic.
It’s also the path to explosive decompression. If you aren’t careful. So I’m not going to promote it here. It can be dangerous. Look into it and decide for yourself.
Single temp double fry works. And it’s pretty safe. You get crispy wings. And that quick second fry lets you crank wings out fast.
Twice fried is also way easier to serve
Restaurant kitchens have big deep fry vats. Those vats hold lots of oil. They have big powerful heating elements. So they can fry big batches of wings. I do not have the words to express how jealous I am.
It’s trickier at home. Home deep fryers are small. Woks on a stovetop are really small. Four litres of oil is not that much.
There’s a golden rule when deep frying. Don’t let the oil temperature drop. Things get greasy if you do. So keep your batches small. To keep oil temperature up.
It takes about 10 minutes to fry wings. And you can fry about 10 wings per batch in four litres of oil. That’s not a lot of wings. Especially if you are trying to feed a bunch of people.
The double fry fixes that. You get ultra crispy wings. And the second fry is 3 minutes. So you can really crank them out. Fast.
Your guests will thank you. Especially if they are hungry. And it’s less stress in the kitchen. So everybody wins.
Super crispy wings. Three minute batches. That’s a no brainer in my books.
Vindaloo chicken wings are not diet food
How’s that for a headline stating the incredibly obvious?
This is the unrepentant pursuit of flavour. No matter the cost. A little bit savage really. Just like buffalo chicken wings.
I’ve always been super impressed with the buffalo wing. Mad scientist genius. How do people come up with stuff like that?
I’ve always suspected controlled substances may have been involved. Figured it went something like this…
“Dude. I’m hungry. I’m really HUNGRY.”
“Me too. Dude. I am STARVING.”
“I have an idea.”
How about we take the fattiest part of the chicken? And we deep fry it. Deep fried fat. What could be better than that?”
“Wait. How about we deep fry them AND we dip them in butter and hot sauce.”
“WHOA. Deep fried fat dipped in butter. Dude. That’s AMAZING.”
Turns out it was someone trying to feed hungry kids late at night in Buffalo.
It’s still genius.
Mild, medium or hot?
You’d think anything called vindaloo chicken wings would be really spicy. Screaming hot even. But they aren’t. At least they don’t have to be.
You can take these from mild to incendiary. Something for everyone. And it’s dead easy to do.
The sauce is pretty mild as written. Kashmiri chili powder is not that hot. It’s a flavour and colour thing. Pleasant heat. Not a fire thing.
Enter naga pickle. Naga pickle isn’t traditional in vindaloo. But vindaloo chicken wings aren’t traditional either.
So I feel good about it. This is Indian-ish remember. There’s no claim about authenticity here. Zero.
A little naga pickle adds that magical naga flavour. But in control. Medium spicy.
A little more and you’re well into hot wings territory. And you can take it as far as you want.
Naga pickle is always a trade-off. More is better. But at a price. A palate searing price. Incredible flavour comes with incredible fire.
It’s your call. Mild. Medium. Hot. Incendiary. Make what you like.
But make them. You need vindaloo chicken wings in your life. I know I do. More often than I should.
These are so going on the menu of my imaginary food truck. I’m going to buy an imaginary Ferrari with all the money I make. It’s going to be imaginary awesome.
Vindaloo chicken wings. A little bit decadent. Crazy delicious. And so worth it.
vindaloo chicken wings
- A deep fryer is nice to have but a wok or good size pot and thermometer will do as well.
buffalo vindaloo wing sauce
- 3 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt less if using regular table salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper coarse grind
- 1/8 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp white vinegar – yes, the nasty white stuff
- naga pickle to taste
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp coriander chili chutney available at Indian grocers
- pinch black pepper
- 2 lbs split chicken wings tips discarded. About 20 wing segments
- oil to deep fry
- the vindaloo sauce
- the dipping sauce
- some celery stalks because that's how you eat buffalo wings
make the sauce
- combine the Kashmiri chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and granulated garlic in a small bowl.
- Add the butter to a small (6 inch is good) saucepan or skillet and warm gently over lowish heat until the butter is fully melted.
- Add your powdered spices. Cook gently for 3 minutes. You are cooking out your spices but butter is a delicate thing so you don't want to push it. Gentle. Taste after 3 minutes. Be careful though. It's hot butter. If the spices still have a raw taste keep going another minute or so.
- Remove from heat. Let cool a bit.
- Add the vinegar. Stir, over low heat, to combine. It won't emulsify perfectly but it will mostly come together.
- At this point your sauce is pretty mild. Add a tiny amount of naga pickle. Taste. Add a bit more. Keep going until you get to the level of heat you like. 1/4 tsp would be a spicy medium. 1/2 tsp would be hot. More would be really hot. Really tasty. But really, really hot. Your call. You know what you like.
Make the dip
- Combine the ingredients and stir to combine. That's it. Masterclass stuff!
Cook the wings twice
- This process really depends on your setup. My deep fryer isn't big. It holds 4 litres of oil and I find 10 wings at a time is about right. Any more and the temperature drops. And that is not what you want when deep frying..
- Heat your oil to 350F. Assuming your wings are 10 to a pound the first fry should take about 10 minutes. You are cooking them until done. Done is around 175F internal temp.
- Remove the first batch and set aside.
- Cook the second batch. Repeat until all the wings are cooked.
- Let the wings sit around 20 minutes. You can let them sit up to 3 hours in the fridge if you want. Just pull them out when it's time to serve.
- The second fry is quick. It's to give the wings that extra crispy finish. They are already cooked so there's nothing to worry about there.
- Again, you don't want to overload your deep fryer. Working in batches cook the wings for 3 minutes.
- Remove, drain and toss with the vindaloo sauce. Serve the dipping sauce along side. Some celery stalks if you want to be really "authentic".