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When I first got the idea for my print cookbook Latin American Paleo Cooking (don't forget to pre-order! it helps me a lot), I wanted to include at least 3 recipes from every country in Latin America.
Due to both time constraints for the project as well as size limitations from the publisher, I had to significantly pare it down and skip over quite a few countries entirely. One country that I did not get to devote enough attention to is Brazil - a shame, since my sister-in-law is from Brazil!
This recipe for Brazilian style chicken wings, aka frango à passarinho, is the last chicken wing recipe you will ever need. Seriously, it is THAT good. You can also make this recipe by using an entire chicken that has been cut up (yeah, cut through the bones!) into bite size chunks. But it is much easier to buy pre-cut chicken wings.
The key to the authentic flavor here is twofold: the seasoning blend known as tempero baiano and the crispy garlic that garnishes the wings once they're cooked. You can buy a pre-made tempero baiano, but I like to mix my spice blends fresh. This seasoning blend originates from the northeast region of the country and is used as a kind of all-purpose seasoning for just about everything! So you can get creative and add it to soups, greens, or use it as a dry rub before grilling meats.
And because I love my AIP readers I also have an alternative seasoning blend for you to use so you can still enjoy these AMAZING wings.
This recipe uses my favorite all-purpose Paleo, gluten-free, and AIP flour: Otto's Cassava Flour. In this case it is a 1:1 replacement for regular flour for perfectly crispy crunchy wings! I love recipes that only need ONE gluten-free flour - don't you? It makes a big difference to only need to measure one thing out, and I also think it makes recipes more foolproof.....the more flours blended together, the more room for error.
If you aren't already familiar with Otto's cassava flour, it is derived from the yuca root (called mandioca in Brazil) and is the whole root, dried and ground. Tapioca starch also comes from the yuca root but is the extracted starch. The two are NOT interchangeable (think of them like cornmeal and cornstarch, or potato flour and potato starch).
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You'll notice the flour gets blended with what may seem like an odd ingredient: baking powder. This is crucial for the texture of the wings! Measure accurately and it doesn't do anything to affect the flavor, it simply works some kitchen chemistry magic to give you perfectly crunchy wings.
Traditionally these would be deep fried. Well, I hate deep frying. When you're using healthy Paleo fats it can get expensive, too. You can pan-fry these if you want to cook them quickly, but I actually recommend "oven frying" them instead. The secret is to use a very hot oven and to flip once during cooking. You can barely tell the difference between pan-fried and oven baked!
My husband is not a fan of chicken wings, usually, since they are typically tossed in some sort of (messy) sauce. The beauty of frango à passarinho is that the flavor is infused underneath the breading and gets more intense if you can allow for an overnight marinade in the tempero baiano seasoning mix.
These wings are bursting with flavor and your hands stay (mostly) clean since there is no sticky sauce to mix them in. And my husband loves these so much he fights me for the last piece!
recipe notes for Frango a Passarinho:
- You can pan-fry or oven bake, but I prefer baking
- Don't skip the baking soda/cream of tartar (or your favorite baking powder) in the flour! It is important for perfectly crispy crunchy wings
- The tempero baiano seasoning blend for the marinade is traditional for this recipe, but if you are following AIP use option #2 in the ingredients list instead
- If pan-frying, use a larger pan (with more fat) to cook them quickly, or to save fat use a smaller pan and cook in batches
- These taste great reheated as leftovers. I haven't tested, but I think they would be wonderful frozen and reheated, too.
- To save time, buy pre-cut chicken wings from your farmer or butcher
- You can use either green onion or flat leaf parsley to garnish these - you'll see both versions in Brazil!
- Take care not to burn/overcook the crispy garlic. It browns and crisps very quickly!
Brazilian Style Chicken Wings with Crispy Garlic - Frango à Passarinho (Paleo, Gluten-Free, AIP option)
Brazilian style chicken wings with crispy garlic, frango à passarinho, is the last chicken wing recipe you will ever need, and can be prepared pan-fried on the stove or simply baked in the oven. The crispy crunchy crust is thanks to Otto's Cassava Flour!
IngredientsOption #1: Tempero Baiano marinade (traditional seasoning blend)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1.5 tsp white pepper
- 1.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp finely ground unrefined salt
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp finely ground unrefined salt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- juice of 2 limes
- 24 chicken wing pieces (flats and drummettes separated, about 2.75 lbs)
- 1/2 cup sifted Otto's Cassava flour (60 grams)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (or use 1.5 tsp of corn-free baking powder in place of the cream of tartar and baking soda)
- if pan-frying: sufficient fat of choice to fry (I use pastured lard - you will likely need 1/4-1/2 cup depending on pan size); if oven baking, small amount of fat to grease baking sheet
- an additional 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced (alternate: a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped)
- lime wedges for serving
- In a large glass bowl with a lid, combine the spices to make the "Tempero Baiano": cumin, oregano, white pepper, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, salt, and the 5 cloves of garlic. Stir to combine, then squeeze in the lime juice to make it a marinade. If following the AIP, use the AIP marinade option instead.
- Toss the wing pieces in the marinade so that every piece is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but overnight is recommended.
- Prepare the flour mixture by combining the Otto's Cassava Flour with the baking soda and cream of tartar (these are the secret to extra crispy skin and crust!) Lightly coat each marinated wing piece in the flour mixture by dredging with tongs.
- To pan-fry the wings: heat about 1/2" fat of choice (I use pastured lard) over medium heat until shimmering. Fry in batches, cooking for 8 minutes per side or until cooked through. Lower the heat slightly if they begin to splatter too much during frying. Add additional fat to the pan as necessary.
- To oven fry (bake) the wings: Preheat the oven to 450F. This is the key to crispy oven-baked wings. Generously grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil (or your favorite fat) then arrange the wings in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake another 20 minutes or until cooked through. Tip: brush lightly with fat of choice after the first 20 minutes if you have patches of flour that remain white. You may need to use a spatula to release the pieces to flip them.
- Meanwhile, prepare the crispy garlic. Add the 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to a small saute pan and heat over medium for 2 minutes. Add the 2 tbps chopped garlic (do NOT use a garlic press, you want bigger pieces than that) and cook, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minute or until it just turns golden and is fragrant. DO NOT OVERCOOK or it will become bitter. Set aside.
- To serve: place the cooked wings in your serving container of choice (I just love using a parchment-lined baskets). Sprinkle the crispy garlic evenly over the wings, allowing the oil to drizzle over them. Garnish with the chopped green onions (or chopped parsley) and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over them just before eating.
- If planning save some for leftovers, do NOT garnish; instead save the garnish for just before serving. Store the cooked wings in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until warmed through and sizzling. Garnish just before eating.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 40 mins.
Total time: 45 mins.Tags: paleo, AIP, gluten-free, Brazilian, frango a passarinho, chicken, Latin American