So here’s the story behind Uncle Barr’s Famous Wings. It all started with the love of the ‘Elephant & Castle’s ‘ Spicy Chicken Wings in a Basket, promises to a sick child that once she was better she could have them and scouring the internet for the recipe.
I must add that Uncle Barr is in fact NOT my uncle, he’s my brother in-law Barry and the sick child in question is my niece. However, the love of these chicken wings is a family thing (as my boys love them too), as is the sourcing of recipes of favourite foods. Being a fellow gastronome (a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment – especially good food and drink), Barry spent many hours searching the net in order to satisfy his family’s need to indulge in the afore-mentioned chicken wings.
With a lot of persuading Barry agreed to share the recipe once he got the proper recognition! Anyhow, it is indeed a delicious recipe and was garnered from two sources, (allrecipes.com & foodwishes.blogspot.ie)
The first time we tried this recipe, we had a few friends coming to dinner (a tapas affair) so myself and Emmet decided to try the chicken wings. They were so tasty and we served them with a blue cheese dip, a recipe given to me by my mother in law, Ger. It was the night of the in-laws recipes!!!! I’ll also share this below because it is an amazing accompaniment.
Anyway, I have since started using this recipe with chicken drumsticks instead of wings because they are meatier and make for a better family meal for continuously hungry boys. I remove the skin as a healthier option which means any leftovers (there’s seldom any) keep well, stored in the fridge without getting that congealed greaseyness that chicken sometimes gets when cold. Also they are great lunchbox fillers and are still delicious cold. Emmet has asked me to point out that these are very tasty even when congealed and greasy, so it really is down to your own personal taste!!
Before I list the ingredients, I need to finally add that the reason this chicken tastes so authentically like the Elephant & Castle wings is as a result of the legendary Frank’s Hot Sauce. In Ireland this can be bought in Superquinn, Dunnes Stores or Fallon and Byrne.
For the drumstick prep (chicken wings if using instead)
- 2kg/5lbs drumsticks (same weight for wings)
- 3 tbsp Franks hot sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable Oil
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- 110g/4oz/1 cup plain flour
For the Sauce
- 180ml/6oz/2/3 cup of Franks Hot Sauce
- 110g/4oz/1/2 cup unsalted butter (we tend to use half the amount and it still tastes great)
- 1 to 2 tbsp of white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Worster sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground garlic
Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Prepare a roasting dish by lining with tin foil, cover the foil with a scant coating of vegetable oil. Be a bit more generous with the vegetable oil if you are going for the skinless version of the drumsticks as they don’t generate as much fat during the cooking process.
If going for the skinless option, remove the skin now, I use a piece of kitchen towel to grip the skin and pull downwards towards the knuckle. Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Next add the Frank’s Hot Sauce and vegetable oil. Mix well ensuring that all the drumstick are coated in the mixture.
Put the flour into a large bag such as a Ziplock bag and toss in the drumsticks. Give the bag a good shake, again making sure that all the drumsticks are coated in the flour.
Place the drumsticks onto the prepared pan and place in the oven for about 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.
Towards the end of the cooking time, prepare the sauce. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously until the butter has melted and all the ingredients are combined.
At this stage the drumstick will be cooked, pour the sauce over the drumsticks and return to the oven for a further 2 to 4 minutes. Next, transfer the drumsticks to a preheated serving dish and tuck in!
Serve with a blue cheese dip (see recipe below) or with baked potato or chunky chips, and a nice herb salad.
Blue Cheese Dip
- 110g/4oz blue cheese
- 250g/9oz natural yogurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- A clove of garlic crushed
Put all ingredients into a foodprocessor and whizz together until you get a smooth consistency. However, if you don’t have a foodprocessor, this can be mixed hand.