Winged victory – chicken brodo

June 18, 2009

brodoI have never been a big fan of chicken wings – too fiddly, greasy, just annoying, and for what?

But Ms Karen Martini (I only just thought recently what a killer name this is. How I would love to be called Charlotte Martini) has changed my mind, and found an excellent use for the delights of these tender moist little bits of flesh without the finger-licking tedium. Or at least, the tedious bit is only the cook’s job, not the diners’.

Here is Ms M’s chicken & vegetable brodo faithfully reproduced by some other braver recipe-sharing blogger  (the original is from KM’s second book Cooking at Home – buy it, it’s brilliant apart from way too many arty personal kitchen and/or new baby photos – why do people do that??), and below is my slightly altered version, replacing a few ingredients with whatever we had in the fridge. But the big debt is to KM.

Getting the flesh off the chook bones is the fiddliest bit, but from start to finish it took a bit over an hour, and was sooo delicious – was feeling a little off-colour with burgeoning headcold (swine flu?) yesterday arvo, but after a bowl of this stuff was bounding with good health.

I urge you to make this at least once in the next week – I promise it’ll cure what ails you!

Chicken & vegetable brodo, with thanks to KM

  • 1kg chicken wings (mine were organic from woolies, and cost six bucks. Bargain.)
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, ditto
  • 1 small red chilli, split
  • 3 fronds silverbeet or cavolo nero – stems diced, leaf roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ½ chorizo sausage, finely sliced (optional, can leave out)
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • Small handful spaghetti, broken into 5cm sticks ( I acidentally used tube spag, but it was still fine)
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Chopped parsley
  • Grated parmesan, to serve

1. Toss the wings in olive oil with lots of salt and roast at 220 degrees C until golden – about 20 mins.

2. Bring stock and 1 litre water to the boil. Toss in chicken wings and cook on rolling boil for another 20 mins.

3. Remove wings from stock, turn off heat, and leave wings to cool.

4. Meanwhile, in a pan saute garlic, chilli, leek, silverbeet stems, celery, carrot, over high heat to give a bit of caramel.

5. Add chopped sausage to pan on high heat, brown & then turn off heat.

6. This is the annoying bit. When wings are cool enough, pick off the meat and discard bones and half the skin (I chucked all the wing-tips – irritating prongs of nothing but skin & gristle), leaving you with a little bowl of deliciously moist chook shreds.

7. Bring stock to the boil again, and throw in the rice, then the pasta a few minutes later, the sauteed veg & snag and the silverbeet leaves, zucchini & peas.

8. Season well and give it a stir now and then to make sure nothing sticks – cook till everything is tender.

9. When the carbs and the zucchini are cooked, turn off the heat; add chopped parsley & stir.

10. Serve in a big bowl with a good grating of Parmesan and crusty bread if you wish – but full of carbs so no need for bread if you can’t be bothered.

This could easily take another chilli if you were so inclined, and make sure you check the seasoning – my stock was homemade so the end product needed lots of salt, but if bought stock maybe not.

Eat and be warm.


  1. I was talking to Chef Bernard last week, over a bottle of wine, about stocks and sauces, how good supermarket ones are these days, but also how great it is to make and have a stash of your own stocks in the freezer at home! And it reminded me of my last mentor, Chef Waddington, who swore blind about using chicken wings to extract the most flavour for our stocks. To make a double chicken stock, for example, we would brown off say five kilograms of chicken wings and then pour twenty litres of base chicken stock (made from carcase and vegetables etc) over them, bring them to the boil, and let it simmer for five hours. And it really did produce a very good stock.
    BTW, are you a fan of “Buffalo Wings?”

    • That sounds yummy Hamish. I’m a bit fan of hurling half a kilo or so of chicken feet into my stock – they give a lovely silky, gelatinous texture and cost next to nothing.

  2. Ah, Chef B is a gallivanter isn’t he – dining with us at chez Marrickville dining one week, Shangers the next. And yr double stock sounds excellent. Love those quantities you speak of – twenty litres wouldn’t fit in my entire fridge, let alone freezer, but i can break it down for domestic use … what are buffalo wings? Some sticky chilli-ish thing? I can’t bear the whole eating wings with the hands thing. But then again I don’t really do crab for the same reason. If god had wanted us to eat with our hands he wouldn’t have invented knives and forks.

  3. charlotte
    I’m a big KM fan – and you’re right it is a killer name. Love the sound of this soup as well – can’t believe I haven’t even noticed it in her book.
    totally agree with the gratituous baby-in-cookbook shots as well

    • I will never understand why they do it!? I know everyone loves their babies but jeez… specially that thing with the singlet sign! insane. Lucky the recipes are SO good. She really is one of the best cooks in the country I reckon

  4. This is all well and good, but I just can’t bring myself to handle raw chicken flesh anymore. The gag force is strong with this one.

  5. Oh, okay, on closer inspection I see all you have to do is toss the raw wings into the pan… I can do that…

  6. […] are better than the bought ones, so it doesn’t feel like skimping. Needless to say, add stocks to the make-your-own and keep-in-the-freezer […]

  7. […] but what I have really wanted to send lately, but didn’t have the guts to, is a bowl of chicken soup to a friend who was flattened by illness and general […]

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