Tamarind Chicken Wings

Tamarind Chicken Wings

Tamarind Chicken Wings, Ciudad de Mexico: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Mexico City. Photography by Robert Billington and Adam Wiseman.

Ciudad de Mexico: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Mexico City

Divided into chapters by time of day, in Ciudad de México, chef Edson Diaz-Fuentes takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, explored through the vibrant and bustling Mexico City.

Inspired by the culinary highlights of his childhood, Ciudad de México features favorites such as Huevos Motuleños, Tacos de Pescado Estilo Baja, Pambazos, and Oxtail Mole de Olla, accompanied by an array of cocktails including Margaritas de Jamaica and Mezcal Sours.

With a dedicated section to marinades, rubs, and salsas, Ciudad de México contains everything you need to bring a touch of Mexican flavour to everyday dishes, such as Edson’s Beetroot and Pasilla Mixe Ketchup.

Designed for the home cook, Edson’s handy substitution guides allow you to capture the essence of Mexican cooking with readily available ingredients, so it won’t matter if you’re short a tomatillo or two.

A book evoking the flavour and soul of Mexican hospitality, Ciudad de México unveils the complexities of the cuisine and the rich food culture that unites this sprawling metropolis. Tied together with stunning location photography, this book is a must-have for any home cook and culinary explorer.

Ciudad de Mexico: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Mexico City is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.ca.

Tamarind Chicken Wings

Everyone loves chicken wings, and they make the perfect snack. In this recipe, the baking powder absorbs the chicken fat as they cook, making the wings extra crispy without the need for deep-frying. The tamarind marinade gives the wings a real sweet-and-sour tang with a hint of citrus, perfect to accompany the IPA of your choice for a pleasant contrast of flavours.


2 tablespoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt flakes
¾ teaspoon Mexican oregano
1½ teaspoons crushed fennel seeds
1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) chicken wings

200 g (7 oz) tamarind pulp, with seeds
200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) orange juice
50 ml (2 fl oz/3½ tablespoons) lime juice
50 g (2 oz/3 tablespoons) honey
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar


tajin powder
Ancho Dry Rub (see below)

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/300°F/gas mark
  2. Line a roasting tray (pan) with baking parchment.
  3. To prepare the tamarind adobo, place the tamarind pulp and orange juice in a bowl and mix together: it is easiest to do this with your fingers. To remove the seeds, press the mixture through a sieve (fine mesh strainer). Add the lime juice directly to the sieve and continue to press and scrape. Discard the seeds and mix the honey and brown sugar into the tamarind adobo. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the baking powder, salt, oregano and fennel seeds. Add the chicken wings and toss until they are well coated.
  5. Spread out the wings on the prepared roasting tray and place in the oven for 30 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 210°C/190°C fan/410°F/gas mark 61⁄2 and bake for another 30 minutes, turning the wings halfway through.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5. Remove the tray from the oven and generously brush the wings on all sides with the tamarind adobo. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then serve the wings hot. I like to serve them over a bowl of popcorn. Add an extra layer of flavour with a sprinkle of tajin powder or ancho rub, if you like. Great for a lazy Sunday afternoon snack.


Ancho Dry Rub

This is a grown-up version of a slightly sweet chilli powder called miguelito. It is eaten as a candy but also sprinkled over mango, jicama, cucumber or popcorn by street vendors.
A special treat, especially after school! To make a powder for rubs or marinades, dried chillies are toasted, then ground. You can use your molcajete (page 78) – or a coffee grinder, for a less authentic (although much quicker) alternative!

I like using ancho chilli in this recipe, which is the dried version of much-loved poblano peppers. It adds the fruitiness and the sweetness of a sundried tomato or raisin to this rub with a mild spice note.


30 g (1 oz) dried ancho chillies, trimmed
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons soft brown sugar
juice of 1 orange (optional)

  1. Toast the chillies in a comal or non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes until soft and pliable. Be careful not to burn them or they will become bitter. Set aside to cool. Toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until fragrant, then leave to cool.
  2. 2. Place the toasted chillies, fennel and coriander seeds, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a molcajete (or coffee grinder) and crush until finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. 3. To use this as a seasoning, simply sprinkle it on fruit or vegetables, such as fresh pineapple, apples, cucumber or jicama. It’s also great on popcorn.
  4. 4. To use it as a marinade or rub, add the orange juice and mix to create a thick paste. Rub it on chicken, pork, portobello mushrooms or even squash before roasting.

Reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books. 

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