These cafreal chicken wings are easy to make and so good!
In my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Light’, I featured a cafreal masala which was used to make a chicken cafreal curry.
This is a simplified version but instead of using the masala in the famous South Indian curry, it’s used as a marinade for cafreal chicken wings.
You could use the same cafreal marinade with other cuts of chicken too. For that matter, it’s delicious as a marinade for most meats, seafood and vegetables.
Preparing the chicken wings
In Indian style cooking, chicken is usually skinned before cooking. I tried skinning wings once and it’s a big chore.
You can, however purchase skinned chicken wings and many Asian butchers. I decided to leave the skin on.
Many people like to cut the tips off the chicken wings for presentation. I leave them on because I like the crispy bits.
Chicken wings have two joints. If you want to cut off the tip, just lay a wing out and cut the pointy bit at the end off at the joint. Then you can also cut at the other joint to make two meaty pieces. I usually don’t fuss with this because I like the crispy bits.
The cafreal marinade can be made a day in advance. You can also marinate the chicken wings overnight if you like but a couple hours of marinating is fine.
Lighting your barbecue
You want to cook these low and slow. You could simply grill them over a hot fire but I like to cook these cafreal chicken wings over indirect heat for about 40 – 60 minutes.
This way you can baste the wings with a little marinade while cooking and it really adds to the flavour.
Not only does the marinade coat and cook into the meat, you also get a delicious smoky flavour by cooking the meat for longer in the smoke.
Step by step photos…
Another chicken wing recipe idea…
I like to serve meat, seafood and vegetables in different colours. Not only does this add to presentation, it also gives a nice variety of flavours.
The red wings you see on my barbecue were made with my all purpose rub and also my Indian Inspired barbecue sauce.
I simply dusted the wings with the rub (see easy recipe below) and marinated them with a few tablespoons of the barbecue sauce. Then I cooked them exactly like the cafreal chicken wings and heated up a little barbecue sauce to use as a dipping sauce.
My all-purpose rub
This recipe makes 24 tbsp or 1 1/2 cups of rub. It can easily be upscaled or downscaled to your requirements.
4 tbsp paprika
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp light brown sugar or grated jaggery
4 tbsp granulated garlic
3 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
Pour all of the ingredients into a glass jar and mix well to combine. Store in a dry, cool location until ready to use.
If you like these cafreal chicken wings, you might like to try some of these…
- 900g (2lbs) chicken wings, skin on or off
- FOR THE GREEN CAFREAL WINGS
- 60g fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- 12 green bird’s eye chillies
- 1 generous tsp ground cumin
- 1 generous tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
- 70ml (1/4 cup) approx. white wine vinegar or coconut vinegar for blending
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
- Place all of the cafreal marinade ingredients up to and including the tamarind concentrate in a blender.
- Add just enough vinegar to blend into a paste. Pour half of the paste over half of the wings and mix well to coat. Place the chicken and reserved marinade in the fridge until ready to cook or overnight.
- When ready to cook, set up your BBQ for indirect heat cooking and light it. You’re aiming for a cooking temperature of 180c/356f.
- When you have your barbecue at the right temperature, lightly brush the cooking grate with oil and place the chicken wings on top.
- Close the lid and cook for 40 - 60 minutes or until you are happy with the appearance. Brush with a little reserved marinade a couple of times during cooking.
- When the chicken is cooked through, place a small pan on the grate over the fire. Heat up the coconut oil and then stir in the remaining cafreal marinade. Cook for about a minute and then serve with the chicken wings as a dipping sauce.