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Chicken Wings with Garlic and Paprika | Pollo al Ajillo

Some rendition of pollo al ajillo, or chicken with garlic and paprika, seems to find its way onto almost every tapas menu in Spain. It’s so simple to make. If for whatever reason you can’t get your hands on Brandy de Jerez, substitute Cognac or Armagnac.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC We Like it Like This Note

After making this finger-lickingly outstanding chicken wings recipe more than once—lots more than once—we came to understand that certain instructions in the recipe be followed precisely in order to ensure finger-licking results. Here, the three most critical quirks: Rule 1. Use a large skillet. Cramming too many wings into a teensy pan all but ensures soggy skin. Rule 2. Don’t be tempted to light the brandy on fire, as is tradition with pollo al ajillo. (Just to be clear, we’re not sissies. We simplly found the flavor to be superior without the drama.) Rule 3. Be prepared to stand at the stovetop, making batch after batch, seeing as they’re so good. Which brings us to our only complaint about this recipe, which you probably already guessed—that it doesn’t make more.

Chicken Wings with Garlic and Paprika Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 8 whole chicken wings, cut into wings and drumettes
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons oak-smoked sweet Spanish paprika
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely crushed
  • 2/3 cup Brandy de Jerez
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. Place the chicken wings in a large nonreactive bowl, sprinkle with the paprika and salt, and rub as evenly as you can over the skin. Add the lemon juice and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 2. Heat the oil in a large, preferably 12-inch, skillet until almost but not quite smoking. Add the chicken, nudging them in a single layer or working in batches if the pan seems crowded. Cook until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat, add the garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • 3. Carefully add the brandy to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover the skillet with the lid left slightly ajar, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • 4. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot, drizzled with the pan juices.
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