Nat’s What I Reckon’s Homemade Chicken Wings Are the Ultimate Party Food

Nat’s What I Reckon’s Homemade Chicken Wings Are the Ultimate Party Food
Image: Warren Mendes

I don’t know about you but the only person who inspired me to cook during the last two years of lockdown was Nat’s What I Reckon. Now the cooking champion is back with his second book and it’s chock full of his epic recipes – ranging from shakshuka to chicken wings.

We’re partial to a good recipe here at Lifehacker and Nat’s What I Reckon has, in our opinion, some of the best. We’ve been lucky enough to have been given one of the recipes from his new book Death to Jar Sauce.

If you’ve ever wanted to skip KFC and make your own epic chicken wings for the next game night, here’s a champion’s guide.

Nat’s What I Reckon’s (Chicken) Wings of Love recipe

The following recipe is from Death By Jar Sauce by Nat’s What I Reckon.

Nats What I Reckon chicken wings recipe
Nats What I Reckon chicken wings recipe. Illustrations: Bunkwaa, Glenno, Warrick McMiles, Onnie O’Leary

Let’s not kid ourselves here, wings are clearly the best part of the chicken. But something magical happens when you go and make them so much more awesome by covering them in rad stuff and deep frying them to a point where you’re almost concerned with how many of these fucken things you could probably put away in one sitting. This dish also gives us a chance to make chipotle mayo together, which is very trendy indeed and also super fucken tasty. So drop kick that zinger and let’s make a winner. – Nat’s What I Reckon

What you’ll need:

Wings:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1½ tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt flakes
  • 600 ml buttermilk
  • 1.2 kg chicken wings
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • enough vegetable oil to half fill a deep saucepan (1 L or possibly more), to deep fry

Chipotle Mayo:

  • 300 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle in adobo (from a tin), or 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced, plus extra lime wedges to serve
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chipotle mayo, let’s rage. To save you a bit of time, let’s go for this stick blender technique. Bang everything except the egg and salt into a narrow jug or container that’s just wider than the head of the blender.
  2. Gently crack in the egg over the oil and other ingredients before placing your not yet blending blender in over the mixture, gently pressing it down right to the bottom.
  3. On a medium–high setting kick the blender off and slowly pull it from the bottom to the top until voila, mayo. Season with salt, to taste. Refrigerate.
  4. Before we kick off the chicken wings bit I should remind you that these measurements are Australian standard measurements, so 1 tablespoon is a 20-ml and not a 15-ml measure like some other parts of the world. We must love big tablespoons here or something! So with that said, get your massive 20-ml tablespoon from what I’m sure is an enormous cutlery drawer and combine the spices together in a small bowl with the salt.
  5. Now remove 2 tablespoons of the spice mix you just made and put them into a big bowl with the buttermilk. Stir together to combine.
  6. Using a sharp knife or even one of those three cheap, fake samurai swords in a rack that we all know you bought online and are on display in the lounge room for some reason – possibly to suggest to your guests that you’re some kind of mysterious ninja – now is the time to go for that moment where you unsheathe one of them like they do in the movies, while you bite your bottom lip and cut small incisions in the wings. This will help you look tough and also help the wings cook a little quicker, all the while avoiding us needing to incinerate the absolute fucken bullshit out of them.
  7. Add the chicken wings to the buttermilk mix and give them a good toss about in it.
  8. Cover and bang in the fridge for at least an hour but preferably overnight if you can be fucked waiting that long. Soaking the wings in buttermilk is a fucken power move.
  9. When it’s time for you to cook the wings, you’ll need to remove them from the fridge for around 45 minutes (or thereabouts) beforehand to come to room temperature, otherwise they’ll cook through about as efficiently as your shitty katana skills would be in battle. Place them on a plate to come to room temp if that helps, but making sure they stay completely covered in the buttermilk mix before the next step.
  10. Combine the two types of flour in their own large bowl with the rest of that spice mix you set aside wondering ‘what the fuck do I do with this, then?’.
  11. Now, coat the wings real well in the flour and spice mix, shake off the excess and set onto a plate or tray ready to cook.
  12. You’re gonna need a shitload of oil for this ’cause we are deep frying, so soz about it. Get yourself a large saucepan or your deepest pan and half-fill with oil, which is probably a shitload depending on the size of your pan. We wanna bring this to the pretty specific temperature of between 150 and 160ºC. WARNING: if you just keep heating the fucken oil temperature through the roof, the shit might burst into fucken flames, and burning oil is a real ‘burn your house down’ vibe, so having a thermometer around is a sick move to avoid this palaver. I use a meat thermometer that can handle heats up to this extreme and I recommend you use a thermometer that suits the job if you wanna play it safe. Monitor the oil temp the whole way through the cooking process and try your best to keep it at around the 150–160ºC mark.
  13. Now, carefully either with tongs or a metal slotted spoon (and not with plastic cutlery), carefully lower some wings into the oil and cook in batches of 8 minutes each, remove and set aside on a wire rack above a tray and lightly sprinkle a pinch of salt over the wings. I use my oven shelving rack over a deep roasting tray because, to be honest, I don’t fucken own a tray with a wire rack that fits.
  14. DO NOT use fucken paper towel! Resting them on paper towel will make the wings soggy and then they won’t be rad and you’ll be sad.
  15. If you’re worried and you wanna check that the wings are a safe eating temperature, insert the thermometer into the thickest part and if it reads 75ºC or more, you should be sweet.
  16. Serve the wings with the mayo and smash into your hungry face. Give the occasional one a squeeze of lime over at some point. . . it goes pretty well with ’em.

I don’t know about you fellow champions, but this chicken wings recipe looks like it will be delicious to me. Like Nat’s What I Reckon’s previous novel, Death To Jar Sauce comes with epic illustrations that visualise the method of each recipe, all of which you can find in the book.

If you’re keen for even more exciting illustrations, jokes and recipes you’ll no doubt want to pick up a copy of Death to Jar Sauce which is out now. Run, don’t walk!

You can also find all of Nat’s What I Reckon’s hilarious videos and recipes over on his YouTube channel.

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