I think it was Ruby Tandoh (of Great British Bake Off fame) who first pointed me in the direction of Masterchef alumni Rukmini Iyer’s inventive book, The Roasting Tin. Not personally mind, just via Instagram. Some of Nigella’s best recipes are her traybakes, so a whole book dedicated to the art of this easiest of easy cooking was a sure-fire hit.
Always on the lookout for a cheap and tasty meal, I was immediately drawn to Rukmini’s recipe for this Spicy Chipotle Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Wedges. It sounds like sticky, dirty barbecue food – but the recipe seems straightforward and healthy-ish. The photo in the book looks enticing and the promise of low effort chicken wings was impossible to resist.
The premise of the recipe is similar to many of Rukmini’s Roasting Tin recipes. Combine ingredients with the spices/herbs and leave in oven until delicious. It really is simple. An easy spice mix: lime juice, chipotle, smoked paprika, salt, olive oil, dark brown sugar is rubbed into the chicken wing and sweet potatoes and whole dish is roasted for an hour. No waiting, no marinating. If you can get your hands on some decent sized chook wings rather than those canape sized wings, it can be quite a substantial dinner. The spicy chipotle chicken wings emerge sticky and delish, while the sweet potatoes are soft and delicious, if not crispy. The Yoghurt side dip is a nice touch too. The Coriander and lime helping to cut through the sweetness of the dish.
Winner Winner (Spicy Chipotle) Chicken Dinner
On the many occasions I’ve made the Spicy chipotle chicken wings with sweet potato wedges, I’ve experimented with some variations: I’ve added some spoons of leftover yoghurt to the spice rub to help tenderise the chicken; I’ve left the dish marinating for various lengths of time, from 2 hours to 24 hours; I’ve switched from a yoghurt dip to a heartier coleslaw. You could also add some wedges of red onion, adding to the tangle of sweet and sticky wedges. Of my experiments, the yoghurt did soften the chicken so I would add it if I’ve got it. The added marinade time really only helped with time management, allowing for prepping the meal the night before, not adding any material improvement to the recipe. The coleslaw is a definite improvement though. I’ve tried it with a regular mayo slaw left au naturel and fused some nice supermarket slaw with limey and coriandery flavours. On one especially industrious evening, I even prepared a slaw from scratch. Either works. In terms of side dishes I usually opt for roasted broccoli or a salad. Usually roasted broccoli. Just pop it in the same oven as the chicken for the last half hour.
Rukmini Iyer didn’t have to try very hard to convince me of the joys of traybake cooking, but her Spicy chipotle chicken wings with sweet potato wedges could easily convince the biggest sceptic… with or without that Coriander and Lime Yoghurt.
If you want to try this recipe (and I implore you do), you can find the recipe here courtesy of The Happy Foodie.