I love chicken wings, it is something about the spicy sauce, getting your fingers dirty and the crispy skin that is just so good.
Red charmoula is a traditional Moroccan and North African spice blend of paprika, spices and herbs. It is a complex sauce with layers of flavors that are dominated by the smoky and spicy paprika. You can buy this commercially, but this recipe, in particular, is delicious.These wings were juicy and had layers of spice from the mix of spices and herbs. This sauce is so different from the traditional buffalo wing sauce that is a vinegar based recipe.
I choose to bake the wings, instead of deep-frying them, as is more common. I find that roasting them in the oven makes them juicy, the skin crispy, and the marinade or the rub has time to cook with the meat, This recipe is just wonderful, complex and full of flavor, I could not stop from indulging in way too many wings,
This is a fantastic cookbook for Moroccan cuisine from a chef who is a master of the art. The recipes can be complex, except for a few like this one, but each recipe is divine. I have had dinner at his wonderful restaurant, Aziza, in San Francisco a number of times, each time the experience has been a delight and the food outstanding.
For more recipes from this fabulous cookbook, click here.
For the red charmoula:
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, Spanish preferred
1 tablespoon sweet paprika, Spanish preferred
1 teaspoon hot paprika, to taste, Spanish preferred
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely minced
1 tablespoon preserved lemon or dhoop limbo, finely minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups water1/2 cup tomato paste, or 2 tomatoes puréed
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup water or chicken stock
4 lbs chicken wings, cut through the wing joint into 2 pieces, or left whole
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and cook on a svery slow flame to thicken the sauce and integrate the flavors, about 15 minutes. The finished sauce should be thickened and clingy and taste strongly of paprika with a touch of sweet from the honey. Use immediately, or store in the fridge for about 10-14 days.
Add 3 tablespoons of the charmoula sauce and the olive oil to the wings and toss well to coat. Allow to marinate for 2 hours at rom temperature, but overnight in the fridge is always better.
Heat an oven to 400° F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and layer the marinated wings in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the wings over every 10 minutes. The wings should get browned evenly all over and the skin should be crispy.
Serve immediately, drizzling some more charmoula sauce on the wings and a bowl of the sauce on the side for those who want more.