Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caramelised Chicken Wings

These chicken wings are super easy to cook. All I have to do is to marinate the wings and bake it! That's all! LOL!

Marinating and baking are not all that I learn from cooking this dish. It is all about vinegar that I learn the most from cooking this dish. It is Sherry vinegar that I used to marinate the chicken that started my curiosity, wanting to know different interesting vinegars that can be used to create great flavours in different food.

My son and I love eating vinegars! I am curious to know why is there so many different types of vinegar and what are them. What is Sherry vinegar? How does it taste? Mostly likely sour...LOL! But...why are they special?

Typically, vinegar is a liquid containing acetic acid and water. The acetic acid is produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria.  Most commonly, I can find malt vinegar, red and white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar being easily available in our local supermarkets but not the exotic ones which are only available in gourmet specialty shops or some supermarket deli section.

At last. I did managed to buy a bottle of Sherry vinegar. According to Wikipedia, Sherry vinegar is a gourmet wine vinegar made from sherry and in order to be named as Sherry vinegar, it has to undergo aging in American oak for a minimum of six months with a minimum of 7 degrees acidity... Nice to know these facts because the bottle of Sherry virngar that I bought is actually quite expensive! LOL!

Using Sherry vinegar as marinate is really interesting. Unlike Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce or any tenderizing marinades, this marinade didn't darken or change the colour of the chicken even after more than 24 hrs of marinating. Yet, the marinade still produce a nice browning colour and lots of flavours after roasting.

caramelised chicken wings 

Before and after roasting
The sour cream dressing to eat with the chicken wings

Here's the recipe from Donna Hay magazine (Aug/Sep 2011 issue)
(with my modification in blue)

1.5kg chicken wings, wing tip removed
1/4 cup (60ml) sherry vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
sea salt flakes
(I pre-marinated these wings for more than 24 hrs)

Sour cream dressing
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
1/4 cup chopped chives
2tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp shredded lemon zest
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 220°C (or 200°C fan forced). Place the chicken wing, vinegar, sugar and salt in a baking dish and toss to combine. Roast for 40-45 min or until golden. Place sour cream, chives, lemon juice and zest, and paprika in a bowl and mix until well combined. Serve chicken wings with the sour cream dressing. Serve 4-6

Happy Baking and Cooking!
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I can't believe that there is so many different types of vinegars to eat and to cook! And these are a few that I've learned and you may wish to know...

From the recent potato lemon thyme frittata that I cooked, I came to know what the existence of white balsamic vinegar. Originated from Italy, this white version of balsamic vinegar has a sweet and delicate flavour. White balsamic vinegar is milder and less sweet than regular balsamic vinegar and is often considered more suitable for use with salad dressings, since it does not have a strong flavour that can be overpowering when used on salad greens.  White balsamic vinegar can be substitute with white wine vinegar but it is a still little nicer to eat with its extra sweetness which is absent in most white wine vinegar.

Verjuice? I heard a lot of "verjuice" on the Australian MasterChef and came to know about verjuice mainly from Maggie Beer, a South Australian cook who has popularised the use of verjuice in her cooking. In fact, she loves verjuice so much that she even wrote Maggie's Verjuice Cookbook. Verjuice is a very acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes and is widely used as an ingredient in sauces and deglazing preparations. I have not tried cooking with verjuice yet but would love to try cooking with it one day.

Being a vinegar lover, these are two interesting vinegars that I have used in my food and cooking. My number-one favourite is always Chinkiang Chinese Black vinegar. I used this vinegar a lot as dipping sauce for our Shanghai dumplings and used it too to cook sticky Asian pork ribs recently for our Chinese new year. Both Chinese Black vinegar and Chinese red vinegar with a darker intense red colour are both commonly used to eat with a Chinese delicacy, shark fin's soup. Typically, the red one is preferred to use in some restaurants for its auspicious colour.

I had lots of fun exploring, learning and cooking with different vinegars and hope to gain more of these knowledge in the future :D

Different kind of interesting vinegars that I explore after cooking this recipe


  1. Yum! These look delicious! I love the glazed look of the chicken!

  2. It's too early to drool over chicken wings ! hahaha I love using vinegar but haven't tried sherry vinegar yet :P I love that yummy baked wings especially with the sour cream dressing !

  3. Chicken wings are one of my favorite foods ever! I also am a fan of all types of vinegars. Looks great!

  4. Zoe, I am not hungry right now but could have few of your wings..I love how they tuned out so perfectly! Great post sweetie and mouthwatering photos!!!!

  5. Looks so good,I can see my self eat those chicken wing non-stop,dipping with that Yummy sour cream dressing :)
    I'am a fan of chicken wings !!

  6. So happen I also grilled some chicken wings last Sunday for dinner. Yours certainly look better.

  7. Your chicken wings looks delicious, my favourite part of the chicken! :)
    I love vinegars too, a little goes a long way. Have not tried Sherry Vinegar before, mainly because I could not find it, and even if I do, it will be very, very costly! Thanks for the info on vinegar, interesting to know what we put into our cooking pot!

  8. May I just say how much I love your blog! The food looks amazing and I swear I did not know how much saliva my mouth was capable of producing

  9. Thanx for a delightful insight into the world of "vinegar". In India mostly we get white vinegar and for the other kinds well all the other categories are available in speciatlity shops only.
    BTW your wings are looking finger lickingly good

  10. Zoe, I can simply eat these chicken wings without the sauce, haha! It's one of my favourite dish but using vinegar to marinade is something different!

  11. Yum! These chicken wings look super delicious . Great info about vinegars too. I love balsamic vinegar but I haven't try the white version before. I'll surely get that for my salad dressings. Thanks for the info! :)

  12. The sherry mix you used for the wings is a new one to me! I am sure I will be trying this out the next time we have wings, which is pretty often. Also, I rather like the roasting method instead of frying. They do look amazing!

  13. I am a DONNA HAY MAGAZINE fans too^^
    Your chicken wings look very mouth-watering and the sour cream as well, I bet they must taste brilliant together :)

  14. so many types of vinegar, me like you also think they all taste sour...LOL! we can get sherry vinegar here but just havent got a chance to try any recipes with that yet..your wings look wonderful indeed, very nicely caramelised!!

  15. My husband loves chicken wings; now here is the healthy way to serve them; thank you. I would go for these too.

  16. Very interesting post! These look so tasty, and the sour cream dip to go with them too. Yum!

  17. Looks like you have quite a collection of vinegars =) must be fun playing with the flavors. Thks for this informative post.. didn't really know what the difference was then

    Just a qtn, if i don't have sherry vinegar, do you think i can replace with other kinds? hee.. cos would like to try this at home too

    1. I actually did google for sherry vinegar substitution before and some site suggested balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar with a little sugar or rice vinegar or cider vinegar. Lucky that I found a bottle of Sherry vinegar and decided to stick this being the original ingredient of this dish :D

    2. Thks Zoe =) actually keen to try cos it looks really nice & simple.. just not sure what else to use the Sherry vinegar for.. will experiment around hee hee

  18. Thanks for sharing this,Zoe! Chicken wings are my daughters' all time favorite! This is a wonderful addition to the recipes I have.

  19. Zoe, love your blog and the name! So true! These wings look wonderful and I love how simple they are! The sauce sounds quite yummy too!

  20. It looks wonderful, Zoe! And I love a vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, too! You'll be glad you have some :) Have a great week...still need to make a Donna Hay may get pushed to next month!

  21. My Hubs love chicken wings so I am always looking for a good recipe. I think this one might be the best I have seen so far! The photos are the proof! Thank you so much for sharing this one, Zoe! Hugs!

  22. Interesting post, thanks for the sharing on the vinegars!

  23. What a lovely idea to marinate chicken with vinegar. I usually use vinegar in all sorts of vinaigrettes and sometimes to coat veggies before grilling but never thought of marinating before. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  24. What a great blog hop. I never thought so much on vinegars, but we do have little shops here that make olive oils and vinegars and you can taste everyone before buying it. These wings look fantastic, they did color nicely.

  25. I have a bottle of sherry vinegar, so I think I need to try these.

  26. I also like a good chinkiang vinegar, and a good balsamic vinegar is a must too!

  27. Interesting...I shall look for sherry vinegar next time, because these wings look so wonderfully golden and crisp!