In the Kitchen: Ailes de Poulet a la Diable

Dear Constant Reader,

I’d like to share this old* family recipe with you. Ailes de poulet a la diable is French for “deviled chicken wings”, basically chicken baked with a delicious coating of mustard and breadcrumbs.

Recently I made Angie Pontani’s chicken tenders (you should too; they’re so good) and they reminded me of this dish. Think of these wings as a more sophisticated, yet messier, take on Angie’s tenders. It’s going to keep you in the kitchen for an hour, since you need to do something to the wings every 15 minutes or so

You’ll need chicken wings, bread crumbs, chicken broth, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper, butter.

I’ve made this with both whole wings and the cut-up sort. If they’re whole, tuck the wing tip behind the other wing end, to make sort of a heart shape. It’s tidier and you can fit more in your baking pan, if you alternate which end is up. I actually prefer the whole wings, but the cut up ones are less messy.

Fresh bread crumbs are great for this, but I often use the kind that come in the canister. I’ve never tried it with panko. Let me know how it is, if you do!

I’ve used home-made chicken broth, canned chicken broth, and even mix-it-with-hot-water bullion. I really like Penzy’s Chicken Soup Base for the latter. It’s not as salty as the little cubes and has much more flavor.

Grey Pupon used to be my favorite Dijon, but I discovered it has added sugar, so now I use Maille.

Preheat the oven. Salt & pepper the wings while melting the butter in your baking dish. I just put the butter in the baking dish, pop it on a stove burner, and let the butter melt. Roll the wings around in the butter before cramming them into the baking pan skin side down.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Blend together some chicken broth, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. I just mix them all in the measuring cup and pour over the wings. Sprinkle with half the bread crumbs. Turn the wings and bake another 15 minutes.

Turn the wings again and bake another 15 minutes.

Add the last of the chicken broth and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs
and bake for 10 minutes more.

Have lots of napkins ready. I suppose there might be a neat and elegant way to eat these wings, but I’ve never found one (and you know if I can’t eat it elegantly, it just can’t be done).

Here’s the recipe:

Ailes de poulet a la diable
3 lb. chicken wings
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup bread crumbs, divided
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Season chicken with salt & pepper. Melt butter in a large baking dish. Add wings and turn to coat. Place wings skin side down and bake 15 minutes.

Blend mustard and Worcestershire sauce with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with 1/3 cup bread crumbs. Turn wings. Bake 15 minutes.

Turn wings again. Bake 15 minutes.

Add remaining chicken broth. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake 10 minutes.


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*and by “old”, I mean I’m the second generation to cook it. My family does not have a long-standing culinary tradition.