We all know and love our local Capetownian Fair Cape Dairies‘ range of milk products, so I was thrilled when my friends at the farm sent me a little something-something I’ve never worked with before: amasi. I scratched my head for days and spent countless hours on the interwebs searching for inspiration and I finally came up with three winning recipes using amasi. I’ll be sharing them in a three-part recipe series. But first, let’s wake up those hibernating taste buds with spiced amasi chicken wings.
Okay. Let’s start at the beginning. What is amasi, you ask? We’ve heard the word before and seen the bottles in the fridge section of the supermarket, but what exactly is amasi?
Amasi (so called in Zulu and Xhosa, and “maas” in Afrikaans) is the common word for fermented milk that tastes like cottage cheese or plain yogurt. Amasi is traditionally prepared by storing unpasteurised cow’s milk in a calabash or hide sack to allow it to ferment. Once separated from a watery substance that forms in the fermenting milk, this thick liquid is mostly poured over pap, or drunk neat. Amasi is also produced commercially on a much larger scale for distribution.
I was so excited when I finally decided on my recipes. I narrowed it down to spiced amasi chicken wings, a naartjie and thyme curd amasi cake, and some beautiful loaves of amasi bread. I’ll be sharing the other two recipes shortly, but let’s indulge in this family favourite before we get to the sweet stuff!
I used two base recipes for my inspiration. The first was from Afternoon Express and can be found HERE and the other recipe was by Nicole Snelling as published on the Expresso Show (it can be found HERE).
There’s something so deliciously decadent about tender chicken that falls from the bone. Marinating the chicken wings in the amasi overnight made it ridiculously soft and juicy, but it also added a certain creaminess to the wings that no other commercial marinade could achieve. In my humble opinion, at least. I’ve never been a marinade kind of person, but I don’t think I’ll be able to cook chicken on the bone again without a good soaking in amasi.
There’s a free downloadable recipe card at the bottom of this post! Grab it now whilst it’s hot!
8 chicken wings (I used beautifully plump organic chicken wings)
2 cups Fair Cape Dairies amasi, plus 3 tbsp extra (for the crumb mixture)
1 cup flour
1 tbsp chilli powder or flakes, whichever you prefer
1 ½ tsp garlic powder (I used the dried flakes)
1 ½ tsp onion powder (I used brown onion powder to taste)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying
Place the wings into a mixing bowl, add the Fair Cape Dairies amasi and allow to marinade overnight. If you don’t have time for overnight, allow to stand for a minimum of 4 hours.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, chilli, garlic, onion, paprika, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Whisk in the 2 tbsp amasi into the flour to form large clumps – these add extra crispy bits! This is a crucial step – it adds so much texture and richness to the wings. Just do it!
Shake each wing gently to get rid of any excess amasi, then coat them in the flour mix. Make sure all sides are covered and that the crumbs have been patted into the meat, then set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes before you cook it.
I used my wok for deep frying, but you can use a small to medium pot if preferred. Bring your oil up to a medium-high heat and carefully add the coated wings in small batches. I cooked 4 at a time in the wok. The oil should cover at least 3/4’s of the wings.
Allow to fry for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, crunchy and cooked through. Place on paper towel to drain any excess oil and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Serve with your favourite sauce. I was lazy (and couldn’t wait that long to eat!) and bought a tin of medium-hot chakalaka, but you could also make your own sauce on the side.
Serve with a lightly dressed salad filled with crispy lettuce, cucumber and carrot to break through the spice, or dish it up with warm roasted vegetables for a winter weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy. Remember, you can up or down the heat by playing around with the amount of spice you add to the crumb mixture.
This is a quick and simple recipe that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. It doesn’t take much time or effort, other than to allow the chicken wings to marinate overnight in the amasi. This is literally the golden ingredient in this recipe. The amasi infuses the chicken with that creamy richness that keeps our taste buds begging for more, and turns the crumb coating into a party not to be missed.
Stay tuned for parts two and three of the amasi recipe collection – next up is amasi breads! Thank you Fair Cape Dairies for indulging me with quality products that I can creatively play with in The Little Kitchen!
Disclaimer: I was sent these products in my capacity as photographer/writer as part of a media outreach. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.