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Ajnihat jaj mashwiyeh (grilled chicken wings)

While you can find these wings at many Middle Eastern restaurants, they are so easy to make at home you won’t need to go out. The ingredients are also ones we usually have at home, meaning this dish can come together in half an hour

Growing up in the US, I definitely love myself a good chicken wing. Although fried wings smothered in Buffalo sauce or numerous other sauces were the popular option in the US, I always favoured the grilled wings on offer at the Middle Eastern restaurants. They were grilled to perfection, lovely and caramelised on the outside and super moist and juicy on the inside. I could go through an alarming number of them all by myself!

While you can find these wings at many Middle Eastern restaurants, they are so easy to make at home you won't need to go out. The ingredients are also ones we usually have at home, meaning this dish can come together in half an hour. I like to mix all the ingredients together the night before or in the morning and then cook them for lunch or dinner, but if you're in a rush, these can marinate for as little as half an hour and you'll still get a burst of flavour. I like them to have a bit of heat, so I add chilli paste, known as shatta, or even some chilli flakes, but this is optional.

When it comes to cooking the wings, they are traditionally made at barbecues in the Middle East, and especially in the Levant as well as Turkey, and of course making them on a charcoal grill does give them a lovely smoky flavour. However, you still get a great result baking them in the oven. Just make sure you arrange them in a single layer so that they roast – not steam – and they get a nice crust. I like to place them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to make sure they brown nicely. Serve them with rice, humous, garlic sauce, fries, or any other side dish you like, and they're guaranteed to be a family favourite.

Ingredients

15 chicken wings

1.5 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp vinegar

1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp shatta or chilli flakes to taste (optional)

1.5 tbsp yogurt

1.5 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1.5 tsp cardamom

1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together very well in a large bowl, making sure all the wings are coated with the marinade and leave to marinate for at least half an hour and up to overnight in the fridge.
  2. Arrange the wings in a single layer in a baking pan. Bake in the oven at 200 C (180 C fan assisted), uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. You can place them under the broiler for a few minutes for a crispier skin.
  3. Serve with fries, rice, salad, or any other side you like. Enjoy!
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