Food that makes your soul smile

I was never one of those that follows recipes, I never trusted them, simply because I always trusted my taste buds and found inspiration in the spices, herbs and everything that was around me at a certain moment. That too is the reason why I am bad with writing precise recipes. Cooking for me is a process during which I get inspired by the ingredients, smell and taste, I add something, then something else comes to my mind and that’s why it’s just so hard to put it on paper. But I always encourage people to do the same, because that way, it won’t ever happen you end up with a bad dish. Trust yourself and your taste buds! And I’ll try to inspire you with my experiments, accentuating and explaining the important things and tricks, leaving the final taste to you.


This weekend it was all about soul food at my place… Soul food is an expression developed to describe the comforting, familiar, delicious and abundant foods closely related to the African-American culture in the south of the USA. Today the term has become more generic and is used to describe comforting food, food for your soul. And soul, comfort and street food is almost always my choice, especially for evenings with friends, when we like to catch up nibbling on something and getting our fingers dirty.


Spiced up BBQ chicken wings with a creamy baby potatoes salad and bacon chips

You’ll need to separate the drumsticks from the chicken wings and, when buying chicken wings, try to pick them approximately the same size. For 4 people who like to eat, 1 kg of whole chicken wings with drumsticks should be enough. It is best you put them to marinate overnight and the first thing to do the next day is to put the potatoes to bake and cool when done. You can prepare everything else in the meantime.





For the chicken wings marinade:

a couple of smashed garlic cloves

a couple of pieces sliced ginger

1 sliced red onion

sumac, cumin, cayenne pepper, sechuan pepper to taste

salt to taste

a neutral oil of choice







For the BBQ sauce:

1 full tbsp sugar

1 piece smoked bacon skin

1 smaller cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp orange zest or to taste

250 ml mild ketchup

black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

soy sauce, Aceto Balsamico, apple cider vinegar to taste






For the potatoes:DSC_0582ablog

smaller baby potatoes

salt, black pepper

olive oil

a couple of smashed garlic cloves

fresh rosemary and thyme stems


For the dressing:

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp lemon juice

salt, black pepper

a bit of olive oil

a hand full of fresh parsley

200 g sour cream (at least 20% milk fat)



thinly sliced bacon or pancetta


Preparation of the chicken wings:

DSC_0652blogSeparate the drumsticks from the chicken wings and mix them in a big bowl with all the ingredients for the marinade. Massage the meat a bit and cover with cling foil. Let rest for as long as possible, best to prepare them the day before.

For the BBQ sauce, caramelize the sugar. Put sugar in a pan on moderate heat and let it turn into caramel without stirring, add the bacon skin and cinnamon stick, ginger, orange zest and ketchup. Let the caramelized sugar dissolve then add the other ingredients, a bit at the time, till you get the desired taste. Leave aside.


Take the wings out of the marinade, remove pieces of ginger, onions, garlic. Spread them on a baking sheet or a baking rack and bake at 230°C for about 20 minutes till the skin gets crispy. Brush them with bbq sauce on all sides and put back into the oven for 5-10 minutes on 200°C. Check if the wings are done by piercing one with a knife and checking if the liquid that comes out is clear. If it’s still whitish, they are not done. Or check the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer, the chicken is done when the temperature has reached cca 75°C. You can brush the wings again with the BBQ sauce, or repeat it a couple of times during baking.


Potato salad:

Brush the potatoes in the water to get the dirt off, dry them, mix with other ingredients, put in a baking pan, cover with foil and bake at 230 °C. It’s gonna take some time for them to be ready, you can check when they are done by removing carefully the foil (watch out for the heat) and by piercing them with a fork.DSC_0669blog

When the fork slides easily through the potato, they are done. Leave them to cool a bit, slice in halfs or quarters, season with salt and pepper a bit more (check to see if it is enough) and leave them to cool completely. In the meantime prepare the dressing. Mix all the ingredients with a hand blender to get a smooth paste then mix in the sour cream using a spoon or a fork. Do not blend the sour cream because the blender breaks it up and turns it into liquid. Check if more acid (lemon) or salt is needed. Toss the cooled potatoes with the dressing and sprinkle the bacon you previously crisped up in a pan and chopped into small chips on top.

Serve them with the delicious potato salad and a bit of chopped scallions, cilantro or something of your choice. Enjoy!








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