Southern-style smoky chicken wings with goat's curd dressing

Neil Perry
Southern smoky chicken wings with goat's curd dressing.
Southern smoky chicken wings with goat's curd dressing. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

Slow down, cowboy - take time out to prepare a little southern comfort food. It's well worth the wrangle. You'll need to brine the wings for two hours before cooking on the barbecue. Brining the wings first will result in more tender, juicy meat and more crispy, caramelised skin. It is so worth the effort.

Ingredients

1 1/2 kg chicken wings

For the brine

2 litres water

1 tsp black peppercorns

4 small dried chillies

4 whole cloves

4 whole allspice

1 piece whole cinnamon (about 4cm)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

3 tbsp sea salt

2 whole garlic cloves, smashed

For the rub

¼ tsp black peppercorns

¼ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp coriander seeds

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp hot smoked paprika

2 tsp caster sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

For the cold-smoking

barbecue coals or 4 briquettes

90g hickory woodchips

For the goat's curd dressing

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

¼ cup coriander leaves

400g goat's curd

2/3 cup buttermilk

Method

 

Combine brine ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes to infuse flavours. When brine is completely cold, add chicken wings and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Toast the peppercorns, cumin and coriander in a dry pan for around 4 minutes until fragrant. Grind and mix with remaining ingredients to create a rub. Remove the chicken wings from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Evenly coat the wings with the rub.

Cold-smoke the wings. Heat coal or briquettes in a small aluminium tray beneath the grill rack of your coal barbecue. Wait until briquettes are burnt down a little (about 15-20 minutes), then place a third of the woodchips on top. Once chips are smoking, lay out wings on grill rack, close the barbecue lid and smoke for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the woodchips: if they catch fire, blow out to continue smoking. Lift up the rack to replenish with another third of the woodchips, smoke for another 20 minutes, then repeat again; the wings should be smoked for 60 minutes in total.

Remove the wings and clean the grill bars. Let the barbecue burn down to hot, glowing coals - don't cook over flames as it gives the food an acrid taste. Grill the wings until they are crispy and slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Add herbs to goat's curd and mix in buttermilk to create a dipping consistency. Serve with the wings.

Suggestion: Serve with Neil Perry's cheddar corn bread.


Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.