Marmalade’s not just for toast.

by Ailbhe on February 17, 2017

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I LOVE marmalade and, luckily, I don’t mind making it. I’m not sure why, but for some time, I had the idea that making marmalade was a laborious and potentially tricky process. When I eventually decided to get my lazy act together and try making marmalade it turned out to be a doddle. Not a quick doddle mind, but at least one preserve-making process that was guaranteed of success due to the high level of pectin in the pith. I say this as someone who still has some elderberry jam, or should I say syrup, after a not-too-successful elderberry jam-making session (still good dribbled through thick Greek yoghurt so all’s well that end’s well). However for the past few year’s as soon as Seville oranges appear in supermarkets I gather a kilo or so and head off to the kitchen, some empty clean jam jars in tow ready to be filled.

This year I decided to add some fabulous Blood Oranges, just for added colour and some sweetness. I’ve also taken to adding fresh ginger (LOVE ginger) and some kaffir lime leaves (from my own tiny kaffir lime bush, now under winter fleece) after adding the sugar. Oh and some whisky right at the end when the marmalade has rested some minutes, a decent splash, say 80 mls. Enough to make a difference otherwise what’s the point? I base my recipe on Queen Delia’s marmalade recipe (very clear instructions, it’s like she’s standing beside you shouting “Let’s be havin’ your marmalade” waving her Norwich scarf). God, I love Delia Smith. Has any Delia recipe ever failed in the history of kitchen action? Silly question, of course not.

So there you have it. A basic recipe (Delia’s) and some suggestions of riffs on the recipe (mine). I think adding cardamon would also work. Rum does (done that, tick) and how about a teeny bit of cumin seed? Eh? Interesting? Might have to try that out.

Now, how about using your marmalade for something else other than spreading on warm buttery toast wonderful as that is. I did. Here’s a great little marinade for some chicken wings. Now THAT got you sitting up. Oh yes, marmalade’s definitely not just for toast.


Marmalade Marinaded Chicken Wings

1 kilo chicken wings, each wing cut into three sections
2 tablespoons marmalade
2 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 2 clementines
5 plump cloves garlic
large pinch of chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon Doenjang Guk* (korean soybean paste)
dribble of sesame oil
2 shallots, finely diced


Mix all the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken wings in a non-metallic dish. Massage the marinade into the wings, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or preferably 24 hrs (that’s what I did).
Line a roasting tray with foil (for easy cleaning later), top with a roasting rack and place into an oven set temperature at 225C. When the oven is heated, remove the chicken wings from the marinade, set the wing tips to one side and place the rest of the chicken pieces on the tray. Turn heat to 200C. Cook for 10 – 15 mins before turning the pieces over, brushing all pieces with the marinade and adding the chicken tips to the tray (the tips will burn if added at the beginning but should be all crisp and nibbly if added later).
Cook for another 15 – 20 mins until the pieces are glistening, golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile add the remaining marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a boil and reduce till thickened. Remember the marinade has had raw chicken in it so must be cooked thoroughly.
Remove the cooked chicken wings to a plate, dribble thicken sauce over the pieces. Grab a napkin or two and dig in.

You could serve a green salad with this or go all brown food and cook some potato wedges at the same time (yessss).
Save your greens for breakfast.


* substitute with a miso paste but if you have neither Doenjang Guk or miso pastes (I know, I know) don’t worry, it adds a lovely umani element but the marinade will still be fab, perhaps add a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce


And while you’re waiting for those chicken wings to cook, how about a Marmalade cocktail?


Marmalade Martini

2 shots gin of choice
3/4 shot Aperol
3/4 shot clementine juice
1 heaped tsp marmalade

Shake with ice, strain into chilled glass


Come to think of it Aperol would be lovely in a marmalade (or Triple Sec / Cointreau). I’m mentally scanning my spirits rack as I write this. LOTS of marmalade-y ideas fizzing away.

If you want to see my marmalade recipe in detail I’ve submitted the illustrated version to They Draw & Cook and that just went live yesterday.



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