Prepare to blow your guests away with this chicken wing gravy from Irish cookbook And For Mains…
An Irish cookbook recently won big in the States, at the International Association of Culinary Awards (it’s like the Oscars of the foodie world, we’re told).
And For Mains…, by Gaz Smith (of Michael’s in Mount Merrion/Blackrock) and Rick Higgins (a Master Butcher with 25 years experience) won Best Chef/Restaurant Cookbook at the awards; the first Irish book to be shortlisted, let alone win. It is published by Irish publisher Nine Bean Rows.
To celebrate this excellent news, we wanted to share a recipe from the impressive book, which is packed with meat-feasts, seafood classics, and stories, banter and fun. It is written by another award-winner: writer Nicola Brady.
The following is how to perfect Gaz’s Chicken Wing Gravy; the ultimate addition to your Christmas feast.
Chef’s tip: If you’re getting your chicken wings from the butcher, get them to hammer up the wings for you when they’re raw. All the flavour is inside the bones and gristle, so you’ll get a far tastier gravy out of it. If not, snip them up at home as best you can, even just to break the skin.
- 1.2kg chicken wings, bashed up or chopped (see the chef’s tip)
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 large bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 100g plain flour
- 50g butter, diced
- 2 litres chicken stock (stock cubes or jelly pots are fine)
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Arrange the chicken wings, onion, carrots, rosemary and bay leaf on a large baking tray (definitely not a deep-sided roasting tin). Drizzle the whole lot with the oil and season well with the salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands to make sure all the wings are covered in oil. That way, they’ll go nice and crisp and you’ll get the maximum amount of flavour in your gravy.
When everything is coated, spread it out in the tray so it’s in an even layer. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, until the wings are golden. If a few are a little burnt looking, that’s no harm. Transfer the chicken wings and veg into a large pot.
Add the flour and butter to the hot tray and give it a good old stir until both are well combined and have formed a paste. This is now a basic roux. Steal a cup of the chicken stock to deglaze the tray, then put the whole tray over a low heat on the hob. Gently cook the lot for 4–5 minutes, constantly stirring and scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the tray.
Add the white wine vinegar. After 5 minutes, carefully pour all this liquid into the pot with the wings and veg and add the rest of the chicken stock. Give it all a really good stir.
Cook over a low heat for 30–40 minutes. You don’t want to let this go to a heavy boil, just a low simmer. Every 10 minutes or so, get a potato masher and give it all a big bash to agitate the flavours from the chicken and the veg. After 30 minutes, give it a taste. You might need to adjust the seasoning, so add a pinch of salt if you do.
Add the thyme right at the end. Once you’re happy with the flavour, allow it to sit off the heat for 10 minutes. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve, aggressively squishing out all the chicken wings and veg to get the last of their little flavour bombs out and into the gravy. Try to resist the urge to drink this from a mug, and either pop it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer or serve with a roast immediately.
For more on the award-winning cookbook, click here!