National Chicken Wing Day: Springbok’s South African flavor

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HOUSTON — In celebration of National Chicken Wing Day, we met up with the cooks at Springbok African Kitchen to learn a delicious and unique wing sauce recipe. Chef Ivan Gianni joined us in the downtown Houston restaurant, which he said isn't your typical bar experience.

"Although we do have burgers, wings and fries and all sorts of other pub fare, the other food that we have is more refined — a little rustic — but refined," Gianni said. "We've gotten this stigma of being a South African sports bar, but that's not what we are. We're an American restaurant with a South African accent."

Executive Chef Seth Greenburg has done an exquisite job of designing a menu that reflects the kitchen's specialty in African street food, Gianni said. Greenburg opened the restaurant at 711 Main Street in July 2014. It is is home to some of the best international street cuisine in the city.

Gianni said Springbok makes all its dishes from scratch.

"The only thing that we get from a store is ketchup, mustard, ranch and burger buns," Gianni said.

Springbok's Peri Peri wing sauce recipe

The African Birdseye Chili — also known as Peri Peri — is the first and main ingredient that makes this wing sauce recipe a knock-out.  Toss the Peri Peri chili into the blender and then follow it with one-fourths cup of fresh squeezed lime juice, dark chili powder, red wine vinegar, fish sauce, smoked paprika and 20 piece of fresh chopped garlic.  Next, you'll start the blender.

"It's sort of like making a vinaigrette," Gianni said. "You're just going to start on slow and then speed it up."

While the core ingredients are blending, Gianni said take off the machine's lid and slowly poor in two cups of mixed oil.

Once you have a nice consistency for your sauce, you want to stop the blender and add a few dashes of salt and about a fourths cup of crushed black pepper.

The combination of chili peppers gives this wing recipe a little kick of spice without over powering the slightly tangy flavor of the other ingredients.

Besides the Peri Peri chicken wings, Gianni said Springbok's patrons also enjoy the kitchen's Bunny chow, which is a curry dish served in a bread bowl, the Wild Boar Sloppy Joe and the lamp chops.

If you're mouth is already watering and you'd like to know more about the Springbok menu, click here to check out the restaurant's website.

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