Hot-and-Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings


Richard Blais explores his British roots at his Atlanta restaurant, The Spence. Lemon curd and malt liquor—both British in origin—are the surprise ingredients in his stellar chicken wings. Slideshow: Fantastic Chicken Wings 

Hot-and-Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings Recipe
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup rice flour

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 3/4 cup seltzer

  • 1/2 cup malt liquor (high-alcohol beer)

  • Salt

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 16)

  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic; cook over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Whisk in the lemon curd, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Off the heat, stir in the hot sauce and pepper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk both flours with the cornstarch. Add the seltzer and malt liquor; whisk until smooth. Season with salt. Add the chicken wings to the batter and turn to coat.

  3. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Scrape the excess batter from the wings. Working in batches, fry the wings in the hot oil for 3 minutes, until the crust is just set and pale golden. Drain on a wire rack and air-dry for 10 minutes.

  4. Return the oil to 350°. Fry the wings a second time, in batches, until deep mahogany in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 170°, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the wings on the rack.

  5. In a large bowl, gently toss the fried wings with the lemon curd-pepper sauce. Transfer the wings to a platter and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Classic malty English bitter: Fuller’s London Pride.

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