Spicy chicken wings with chipotle & lime sauce

Photographer: Emma

The weather is warming up here in Aotearoa which means barbecue season is upon us. After 17 years barbecuing (taken from my thirteenth birthday where I was gifted my first barbecue) I’m looking for something different, interesting and a change from steak and sausages. These spicy wings fit the bill.

There can be a power struggle over the barbecue in our house – between two people who rate themselves, probably in the top 10% of barbeque-ers in the country. Most of the time I’ll opt for the supporting role of making salads and prepping which I am completely satisfied with, especially when it’s cold outside or when we have people round and I’d rather mingle and eat snacks.

These wings were shallow fried in a cast iron skillet on the side burner of our barbecue. But they are also suited to grilling over an open flame.


For the chicken
1tbsp cumin seeds
1tbsp coriander seeds
1tbsp smoked paprika
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil

15 chicken wings (the nibble and the wing intact)

3-4tbsp flour
Salt and pepper

Oil for frying (I used rice bran but canola or salad oil is fine)

For the sauce
½ c unsweetened natural yoghurt
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp chipotle sauce
2tbsp chopped fresh coriander stalks & leaves
Salt and pepper


1. Heat the spices in a pan until they become fragrant. Then, in a mortar & pestle, grind to a powder. Add the garlic and olive oil to the mortar & pestle and pound to form a paste.

Alternatively you can grind the spices in an electric grinder and then mix in the finely chopped garlic and olive oil.

2. Cover the chicken wings in the spice paste and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
3. Mix the yoghurt, lime zest and juice, chipotle sauce, coriander and salt and pepper in a little bowl. Refrigerate.

4. Pour oil into a frying pan – you need to be quite generous here, approximately ½ cm high in your pan.
5. Coat the chicken wings in the flour mixed with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, drop the chicken in, depending on the size of your frying pan you may fit 4-6 at a time.
6. Turn the chicken after approximately 7 minutes of cooking.
7. Chicken wings aren’t uniformly flat so there are going to be areas which aren’t exposed to the oil, you can spend the last couple of minutes changing their positions so all parts get browned and crispy.