Chicken Wings with Curry and Thyme


This is not an elegant, sophisticated, pampered and carefully seasoned, whole bird recipe. This is an everyday, easiest pre-cut roast chicken meal I know, best taken simply with some bread, maybe a green salad and definitely a glass of well chilled white wine. This is the way I have been baking wings (and also other chicken cuts) for long, long years. Infused with strong flavours, the skin is always crispy and if I am happy to find three-section wings (believe me, it’s not always obvious…), I make sure the tips are charred and crunchy, so that I can eat the tiny bone. Have I mentioned I also love the cartilaginous wing parts?

I still don’t remember how I had this simple idea (before I used to rub chicken either with curry or with the Mediterranean seasoning including thyme and garlic), but I loved thyme and Indian curry powder from the first time I put them together. I haven’t checked if this combination is popular, but if you have never tasted thyme and curry, I strongly encourage you to try it at least once (although I do not guarantee the result with other meats; the only way I use it is to season chicken).

TIP: If you like hot dishes, I encourage you to use the hot version of curry mixture and to add some hot chili (I add both). Otherwise mild curry and sweet paprika or no paprika are excellent here too.

For me such wings are best served with good quality bread, but if you want to make a richer, fuller meal, I can imagine them very well with baked potatoes. (By the way, what you see beside the wings are two slices of bread from my favourite French baker. Can you see the huge holes and soft, but airy interior with crunchy golden crust? The best version of my favourite kind of bread.)

Preparation: about 1 hour

Ingredients (serves 2):

8 chicken wings

1 heaped tablespoon Indian curry powder (hot or mild depending on your preferences)

1 heaped tablespoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon dried garlic powder

(1 teaspoon chili powder)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).

Place the wings in a big bowl.

Rub them first with oil and then (using your hands) with salt and the rest of the spices.

Put into a baking dish and bake for about 50 minutes (or until golden brown).

Serve with a green salad and some bread or baked potatoes.

46 Replies to “Chicken Wings with Curry and Thyme”

  1. Mmm, you know me… “blah blah, not a big chicken lover”, but God if I’m not feeling hungry right now because of this Sissi! I actually think I might make some on the weekend. I do quite enjoy wings every now and again, especially when the skin is crispy. They look wonderful Sissi – I’ll let you know if I get around to trying them!

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. I had no idea you like wings because I know some people who like only legs for example and hate wings… but never the other way round. Let me know if you make them.

  2. OK Sissi this is something I must try very soon! I love a crunchy baked (not fried) chicken, and this sounds wonderful!

    I found this photo very intriguing, because I’ve not seen a food image from your website that’s taken from the birds eye view, very nicely done!

    1. Hi, Jeno. Thank you for the compliment! You know, no matter what I do, I’m not happy with most of my photos (this one too). It was already a bit dark outside and I don’t know how to make nice photos with artificial “home” light (you make really good ones!).

  3. What a coincidence! I just had some roasted chicken wings last night! Bought stuff, not homemade. We’re taking advantage of the fasting month before Eid where the muslims come out in truckloads selling food for when they break fast in the evenings.
    I do love your version. I have been making oven-fried chicken but never thought of using the wings. How silly of me. Brain fade 🙂
    Funny how times have changed. I remember when I was in the states in my teens and mum was craving for chicken wings and we couldn’t find them on the shelves so we had to ask for it and guess what? We got them for free because the wings are usually thrown away or ground into fodder or whatnots since the Americans consider them “junk” parts then.

    1. Thank you, Ping! What a coincidence indeed! This is a very simple way to prepare chicken. The easiest I know. I would love to have chicken wings for free! You know, here chicken wings are not that popular either but luckily they become popular for grilling (they are rarely sold in smaller supermarkets while legs, breasts and whole chickens are constantly available). When I go to my butcher in France I have to order wings from the farm where he takes breasts, legs and whole birds, because there is not enough amateurs to keep them in stock… (on the other hand he always has chicken livers). As I said above what makes me furious is finding two-section wings (like the ones on the photo). When I buy a whole bird at the butcher’s I have to emphasise that he leaves the wings untouched, otherwise, while preparing the chicken (emptying, cutting off the head) he will cut them off! The thinnest part is however so delicious…

  4. Your crispy spicy chicken wings look and sound delicious! Hot Madras curry powder would be perfect with this dish!

  5. I see the wing tips are missing in all those wings. I suppose you ate them before you got the chance to take photos:) Kidding
    I have tried something similar with Thai red curry and soya – remember it being excellent. I am supposed to cook chicken tonight – something similar will make it to the menu it seems. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. Alas, I wish I had eaten the tips… I couldn’t get (once more!) wings with the tips 🙁 I wonder what you will cook tonight…

      1. Looks like the butcher ate the tips:)
        Today I made chicken drumsticks and lamb with red curry and soya marinate. Quite similar to yours, but I didn’t use much curry paste so it was quite mild

        1. Mr. Three-Cookies, I used Indian curry powder here. It’s a “dry” marinade. I must try with Thai curry too (I used it only for fish fillets). I always have at least one jar open in the fridge.

  6. Amidst a rather cold Oz winter I also have managed to bake marinated chicken wings all of twice last week!! Skin and all, and for once I have not thought about saturated fats etc al ’cause they have simply been too delicious 🙂 ! In Oz such are always 3-parted and the ones up north must be small ’cause, even with a huge appetite, I can, at most, manage 2 or another half at hungry best 🙂 ! My usual marinade mix [from night before] includes medium dry sherry, sesame oil, honey, kecap manis and low-salt soy, which is semi-sweet and quite caramellized and ‘potent’. Curry spieces are a variable extra according the mood 🙂 !

    1. Hi, Eha. I never think of chicken fat as bad fat (of course apart from calories: I know that parts with skin have more kcal than skinless breasts for example). I wish here chicken wings were always with three sections. I don’t know why they assume that no one cares for the tip which is so deliciously crunchy…. I always buy free-range chicken and four wings are usually the right amount for one (I think if I had a richer salad or some potatoes/rice I wouldn’t have four). Your marinade sounds really good. Thanks for the idea.

    1. Thank you so much, Zsuzsa. I thought I could share my love for this bread with you (it’s not boasting, it’s not me who makes it) because it’s really the best French baker I know and this is my favourite bread in the world.

      1. I can see why Sissi! This bread was the last thing I looked at before I went to bed last night haha and with major cravings. The closest to this bread I ever had was a Portuguese bread my in law brought for me from Vancouver. The peasant breads are so much better than the refined loaves we get in the supermarket. I make good bread but nothing like this. The picture just makes me want to bite into that chewy goodness – ahhh. Sorry I go on… the wings look tasty too. 🙂

        1. Supermarket bread is never good, even not in France, famous for its bread… My photo is not the best, so you cannot see it but the interior of the bread is not completely white. It’s slightly gray because the flour wasn’t bleached. Same for their baguettes. I have never found anything so good in Switzerland, even though the bread is not bad here.

  7. Love how easy this is and definitely perfect for week night dish. We’ll have it with rice and kids will love these! Very easy to remember – the curry and thyme combination is something I’ve never did before. Looking forward to it.

    Also, the hole in the bread. Do you know if there is a certain word for it in English? I always look for those holes when I search for good bakeries. I love good bread… Sissi you will enjoy bakeries in Japan, too. I miss bakeries in Japan a lot (isn’t it funny statement because most people don’t think we have amazing bakeries in Japan haha).

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I remember that you and your children like wings a lot. This is really a very basic way but full of flavours thanks to the curry. You know, I should be surprised by what you say, but the more I learn about Japan less I am surprised by the Japanese food preparation skills. I remember a friend of mine told me when she went to live for a couple of months in Japan that the Japanese make excellent baguettes (100x better than the Dutch for example (she used to live in Netherlands then)). My impression is that the Japanese can make just any food, no matter how foreign it is. I have no idea if there is a word for these holes in English… Is there in Japanese? You seem to have very precise terms for very tiny things in food. (Like the horse mackerel tiny prickly parts near the tail that have to be cut off… zeiga? I have forgotten).

  8. I too love the cartilaginous wing bits, JT always gets grossed out when I eat them. The chewier the better! We don’t eat wings all that often (they are just too bad for you) but on occasion we have seasoned them with Herbs en Provence, and boy are they tasty. We usually serve them with a home made blue cheese dip. We too prefer a dry rub to that messy, sticky goo the North Americans put on the wings. Sometimes I even take the skin off the wings to try to make them a bit healthier, but they do dry out a little bit. I suppose brining the wings would help alleviate that, but then one is adding salt so who knows what is better for you.
    Wings are standard Bar Fare in North America but they are always deep fried and served with French fries, not the healthiest meal in the world, so I love to make ours at home and I always serve it with carrot and celery sticks.

    1. Hi, Eva. So nice to learn you are also a cartilage fan 😉 My husband doesn’t like cartilaginous bits either. The sticky wings I see on blogs look really luscious, but I have never tried them. Deep-fried wings with French fries sound like a very healthy meal indeed but I wouldn’t mind it from time to time, especially if the French fries are good 😉

  9. Ah Chickenwings I have to make some soon. Yours look delicious as always and curry flavour is so nice especially during hot summers days. Funny discussion about the holes in the baguette. Holes are holes left by bubbles. Here is the despription of an real expert – Dan Lepard: He calls it an “uneven aerated light texture” – even he got no name for the holes.

    1. Thank you so much, Kiki. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese had a special term for holes in bread. I must ask Hiroyuki. I remember he told me the name of the prickly bit in horse mackerel.

  10. Wings are my favorite parts. The heck with the rest of the chicken as somebody else can have it. If they only make chicken with all wing parts, I’ll take it, haha! I love the curry part of the ingredients. Those chicken wings look really good baked like that. I may have to deal with more than 8 wings. . . you know, big family and all. Okay, okay 8 wings are really just for me. hehe. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Ray. I’m glad you like the curry seasoning and most of all that you are also a big fan of wings. I like both breasts and wings and if such chickens existed I would be in heaven! There is not much meat on wings, so 8 wings seem totally reasonable, unless someone has too much bread (like me).

  11. Sissi, these wings sound and look awesome, love the combination of curry and thyme…very exotic.
    Thanks for this great recipe and hope you are having a fun week 🙂

  12. I think I’m one of the few people how don’t eat the wings. Now my husband thinks that is the best part of the chicken. I can see making the wings for him and adding some boneless chicken thighs prepared the same way for me.

    1. Karen, I also know some people who dislike wings (the skin, the cartilaginous parts and the tiny amount of meat). Of course this seasoning can be used with any part of the chicken.

  13. I love these easy precut chicken recipes! Love the seasoning on the wings and I would definitely go with the spicy version. I bet these would be great grilled since it’s too hot for the oven. Chicken wings – the very best part of the chicken! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I don’t have a grill (don’t have a garden), but I have never noticed my kitchen getting hotter with the oven functioning… It gets hot when I use the stove only.

      1. I wish that were true in my kitchen! My oven definitely heats thing up. In fact yesterday I cheated and turned on the broiler for 10 minutes for a pizza and had to turn on the exhaust fan to draw the heat from the kitchen. I don’t have refrigerated air conditioning so that might make it more noticeable. I am headed out this afternoon to by a batch of wings!

        1. MJ, I must have a weird kitchen because the oven is far from the stove and far from the place where I cut or prepare food, so I don’t really feel the heat of the oven. On the other hand when I start simmering food for hours the kitchen becomes really hot. I don’t have any air conditioning (it is not popular in private flats in Europe, maybe some people have it in houses…). I wish I had…

  14. Dear Sissi,

    I love chicken wings and growing up in Asia, I was spoilt with so many delicious versions. I just made some wings recently as a snack for watching the Olympics 🙂 To me, it’s just the perfect snack for watching sports. The best thing about chicken wings is that it is so cheap too!

    You might like to try 3 of my favourite chicken wing recipes. I find that fresh curry leaves give the wings such a fresh curry flavour that even the best of curry powders would not bring these aromas out.

    1. Thank you so much, Chopinand. I also think it’s an excellent snack with tv or without. It’s cheap here too, but very few people eat it and if I want to buy it from my butcher I have to order it. Since the butcher is far and when I crave wings I want them immediately or the following day, I usually buy free range wings in a supermarket, but then they have only two section and it makes me furious (the tiniest one they cut is fantastic when it’s charred and I can eat the bone).
      Thank you so much for the link. I have already seen at Shuhan’s blog turmeric fish and bookmarked it and your turmeric chicken sounds fabulous. Luckily I can buy fresh curry leaves here!

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