Inishowen whiskey-glazed chicken wings recipe

Everyone has their own idea of what is the best-ever chicken wing recipe and it can all get very competitive. In the O’Donnell home we regularly have chicken-wing-offs where different methods are compared and contrasted. This one by the wonderful Brian McDermott is sure to hold its own.

This morning we were discussing comfort foods and Gary, our AV director, said “well, I like all food to be comfort food – who the hell wants uncomfortable food?” It’s a point. There are challenging, special dishes that you eat to say you’ve tried it and there is eating outside your comfort zone on holidays and in posh restaurants, but at home you want what you like.

It’s rare to find a recipe book in which every single entry feels homely and just right for your kitchen. Brian McDermott’s latest book Donegal Table is such a book. Full disclosure: with a name like O’Donnell, you’ll not be surprised to know that two of our team (husband-and-wife Tania and Gary) originate in Donegal (I know, I know, you thought Tania looked more like she’s from Kerry) and so this book is a nostalgic feast for the eyes as well, interspersed as it is with images from Donegal ports and scenery from the stunning county. If you’re a fan of Irish scenery and fishing life, you should also get this book. Anyhoo, on with the recipe!

Inishowen Whiskey-Glazed Chicken Wings

I can’t think of an occasion when great tasting chicken wings don’t steal the show. I’m using Inishowen Irish Whiskey to enhance this recipe, as it has a perfect balance of malt and grain with a hint of peat. It’s produced by Cooley Distillery, and the bottle features a picture of Burt Castle, which you can see from the window of my parents’ house.

Serves 4

For the barbecue sauce

Drizzle of rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

100 g brown sugar

80 ml apple cider vinegar

40 g tomato puree

300 g tomato ketchup

Few shakes of Worcestershire sauce

100 ml Inishowen Irish Whiskey

For the chicken

1 kg chicken wings

Freshly ground black pepper

5 sprigs of thyme

1 lime, cut into wedges

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
  2. To make the barbecue sauce, heat the rapeseed oil, add the onion and sweat. Add the garlic and then the sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the vinegar, tomato puree and tomato ketchup and allow the sauce to simmer for 8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and whiskey and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Season the chicken wings with pepper and thyme, then place on a tray in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
  4. Remove and drizzle the sauce over the wings. Then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until sticky.
  5. Serve with the wedges of fresh lime.

Brian’s Tip:

Keep a bit of extra sauce for dipping. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 4 weeks and is perfect for a barbecue.

Recipes are by Brian McDermott from Brian McDermott’s Donegal Table, published by The O’Brien Press. Available from all good bookshops now. Photographs by A Fox in the Kitchen.