Chicken Wings
Would you like one?

Chicken Wings

Would you like one?
Would you like one?

A miracle occurred today, right next door in the butcher shop.

There, Stéphane Coutard spends his days finding out exactly what his customers want, trimming it to perfection, then dispensing with cooking advice as he wraps  and weighs what they’ve chosen.

Today, our discussion turned to chicken wings. They’re my favorite part of the chicken, and it’s impossible to buy them here.  To get a wing, you have to buy a bird.  I was asking if he ever had wings and he got a glint in his eye.  “Wait here,” he said.

About to go in....
About to go in….

He returned with a kilo of fat, glistening wings.  He wrapped them, put them in a bag and handed them to me over the counter.  I took out my wallet and he said “Put that away.  I throw wings away – they’re yours to eat.”

I looked at him like he was insane.  “You throw them away?” I asked.

He avowed that he does, but his life is full of more wings than he and his family can eat, so in the “poubelle” the rest of them go.

Or used to.  From this day forward, my life too will be filled with chicken wings. Today was our chicken wing celebration, and I prepared them the way my mother always did, drowned in lemon juice and olive oil, seasoned with garlic and rosemary.

About to come out
About to come out

Next time?  I’ve got my eye on a recipe from Andy Ricker, my friend and the owner of Pok Pok in Portland and Brooklyn.  His new book  Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand offers the recipe and more.  Meanwhile, make my mother’s chicken wings. You’ll be happy, just like we were!

Aftermath (in the bowl as condiment, charred peppers and garlic)
Aftermath (in the bowl as condiment, charred peppers and garlic)

Mom’s Chicken Wings

2 pounds (1kg) chicken wings, wing tips tucked under the drumstick

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup rosemary sprigs

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).

2.  Pour half the olive oil in a heavy baking dish, and set the wings atop it. Sprinkle the wings with the garlic and the rosemary, pour the remaining oil over them, season generously with salt and pepper and using tongs, turn the wings so they are coated with oil and seasonings.

3. Place the wings in the center of the oven and cook until they are golden and crisp, turning them three times during cooking, which will take 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and let them sit for about 10 minutes before servings (or your guests will burn their lips).

2 to 4 servings, depending on the eaters…!


Charred Peppers with Garlic


1 pound (500g) long, thin peppers (corno di toro or sweet Nardello

varieties are  ideal), seeds and pith removed, cut in 1/2-inch (1.5cm) lengths

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

1.  Place the oil in a medium-sized, heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers, toss so they are coated with oil, season with salt and cook, covered, stirring frequently, until they soften and begin to get black spots, for about 8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, cover, and continue cooking until the peppers are very dark and the garlic is golden, about 8 additional minutes.  Remove from the heat. If you like your peppers very charred, leave them in the pan until ready to serve, otherwise transfer them immediately to a serving bowl, with all of the oil.

Makes about 1/2 cup charred peppers

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Mary Louise

    Thanks, Susan. I’m always the one who grabs the chicken wings – they are so crunchy and flavorful. I’m saving this recipe.

    1. Susan

      Mary Louise,

      And there will be others, now that I have a supply! Not only are they crisp, but the meat is the best on the chicken!

  2. Molly Martin

    Hello Susan, what a great find at your Butcher’s shop! Wings are a big favorite around here, and although I am not really into “hot” spicy things, I have eaten close to half of a pound of these wings (below) – it was as if my tolerance for heat after the first one just seemed to ramp up and I couldn’t stop myself! This recipe comes from our friend Jerry who grew up in Louisiana – I am sure they were influenced by his love of spicy foods.

    It is SO COLD here this morning (24 degrees fahrenheit !!) that something hot and spicy sounds like a great idea! Enjoy your day, and thanks for the Louviers update – I can see the butcher’s shop in my mind’s eye right now.

    Jerry’s Wings
    10 lbs of chicken wings
    1/4 C Coriander seeds, crushed
    1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 Tbsp kosher salt
    1/4 C EVOO (olive oil)

    3/4 C Srirocha sauce
    1-1/2 sticks butter, melted
    1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
    Zest and juice of 3 limes
    Toss wings with first 5 ingredients; cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Spread wings on rimmed baking sheets. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and fry or (optionally) roast for an additional 1 hour more.

    Mix Srirocha with other ingredients. Remove wings from the oven, toss in sauce and serve hot.

    1. Susan


      This recipe sounds wonderful. We have wonderful shops in nearby Val de Reuil that sell food from all over the world, and I’ll find the Sriracha sauce there. Now, to find someone who will eat this with me, spiciness not being a favorite feel for the French!

      Thank you for this. Sounds like making these will ward off the cold, no?

      Happy cooking!


    2. joethefajermanj

      Im Jewish, but I always get annoyed by the insertion of KOSHER salt in a recipe. If you check with the ultra-orthodox, frumme (which I am not!) websites, you will find that salt is completely neutral in the kosher dept. Speaking of which, I can demonstrate by scriptural reference that God says pork is OK for us Jews to eat Joe Fajerman

      1. Susan


        Kosher salt is USED for koshering, it’s not kosher, correct? As for biblical reference to pork, I’d love to see that. An important person in my life is Jewish and he won’t touch pork….

  3. margaret21

    Well, I’m astonished. I generally buy a whole chicken and joint it, but the wings have always gone straight into the stock pot, as being fit only to offer flavour to said stock. I’ll have to give your recipe a go. Though it sounds as if 2 wings won’t go very far…

    1. Susan

      Margaret! YOur comment made me laugh. You’re right – two wings don’t go very far, but save up a few (they freeze well), and see how you like them. The thing is, wings are very tender and flavorful. They also are short on meat – they’re tiny. But for someone like me who doesn’t eat much meat, they offer a perfect balance. Bon Appetit!

  4. Nancy gooding

    Your photos are fabulous. I’ve never seen wings look so good!

    1. Susan

      Nancy! You have made my day, thank you and Bon Appetit!

  5. Anne McDermott

    I’ve been buying wings in Paris for years – usually cook several kilos of them Chinese style (red-cooked in a master sauce) for parties. Always a big favourite. Even in France!

    1. Susan


      As I was writing, I remembered my former butcher who was a genius with a knife and a man of great heart. He passed away a decade ago…occasionally he would save chicken wings for me, but since he loved them so much himself, it was a rare and coveted moment when they came way. You see, the saving of chicken wings is something one earns (in my world, anyway!).

      Your recipes sounds delicious!

  6. Yvette

    Your recipes are always so wonderful!!! I love living vicariously through you! 😉 We have been to Paris twice and I read your books in between the two trips. Your posts warm my heart and remind me of those amazing trips. Thank you so much!!

    1. Susan

      Yvette, Thank you! I hope you’ll be back, and come to a class. Your comment warmed MY heart!

  7. Rob

    Susan: I’ve made these wings before and they were great. I’m making them again, now, but as I read your recipe it doesn’t say when to use the 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice. Or did I miss something ?

    1. Susan

      Oh dear, Rob. You need to pour the lemon juice over the wings before putting them in the oven. I’ll edit this recipe quick! Thank you for asking!!

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