West African-inspired spicy chicken wings, a wet rub made with peanut butter, onion, bell peppers, lemon, ginger, tomatoes, hot peppers, and thyme and served with a Fonio Pilaf using Yolélé’s Flavored Jollof Fonio Pilaf tossed in sauteed mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, thyme, and parsley.
Home Cooks Challenge!
Are you a cook who's always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes to try? Do you love healthy, flavorful meals that are easy to prepare and perfect for meal prep? If so, you'll absolutely love my latest recipe: Air Fryer Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings with Mushroom Jollof Fonio Pilaf! Not only is this West African-inspired dish a complete and totally irresistible meal that's sure to please everyone at your table. But you can also achieve that with the added convenience of cooking in an air fryer.
For a more inspired Haitian cuisine experience, you must try the Loaded Plantain Fries with Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and Spicy Slaw. And if you want to impress your guest with a delicious, vibrant-looking meal, try the Air Fryer Chicken Breast with Hot Honey Glazed Vegetables recipe.
Let's make some spaghetti tomorrow with some Loaded Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta. Yum!
And don't forget to check below for more air fryer recipes, like this Spicy Chicken Burger with Harissa, Eggplant, Portabella Mushrooms, and Jalapenos—the perfect crowd-pleaser.
Flavorful: Peanuts and Spices
Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings with Mushroom Jollof Fonio Pilaf, the flavor is like a party in your mouth. "So cliché!" Yes, but it's true. Furthermore, ginger, peppers, citrus, and herb flavors are coming together, bringing their characteristics, and then… Peanut Butter! The life of the party finally arrived. And PB is just mingling with everyone. With every bite, you taste a hint of PB in the background. You'll have the option to marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or four hours for a more intense flavor in advance, but It was amazing! Now pair that with a yummy super grain flavored with Jollof seasoning with juicy mushroom bits—the after-party. The fun doesn't stop until your plate is cleaned up!
Food Across Cultures
Now, fonio has been around for ages. But in my bubble on the other side of the hemisphere, I never knew it existed. There was always an attachment between West Africa and my Haitian culture, but I never was able to see it until I was older. From fufu, grains, and porridges to eating stewed meats with rice and plantain, to so much fish! Meanwhile, I'd watch videos, see pictures of Nigerian food, and say, "Hey! This looks very familiar!".
The Right Connection
The great thing about food is it can touch so many lives in different ways, leaving memories and connections. I think this is why I'm so connected to it. It is my way of reaching out to others. I'm a shy person. And when I don't speak, I can feed.
Ingredients and Instructions
For the quick chicken wing marinade, you'll blend onion, ginger, tomatoes, and red bell pepper with lemon juice, garlic, paprika, red pepper chili flakes, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, and peanut butter. This will create a paste that you will coat the chicken with and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to seep into the chicken. Avocado oil was used because the chicken was cooked in the air fryer at a high temperature. In addition, avocado oil has an excellent high smoke point. Consequently, as a baked chicken wing dish, the marinade created a thick spicy sauce for the chicken wings, which was delicious.
Again, see the spicy peanut chicken wings recipe card for quantities.
Traditionally, meat in the Caribbean and Africa is sometimes pre-boiled during prep. However, this step can be skipped.
Get your hands on some Yolélé’s Fonio Pilaf; I used the one with the Jollof seasoning for this recipe, which perfectly complimented the spicy chicken wings. Following the package's instructions: In a pot, this will be mixed with olive oil (or oil of your choice), brought to a boil, cooked for a minute, and set aside, covered for 5 minutes, then fluffed with a fork. Next, you'll saute the vegetables: onion, garlic, tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, and thyme. Then add the fluffed fonio, tossing and coating the fonio with the vegetable juices and seasonings. And finally, decorate the dish with chopped parsley.
See the spicy peanut chicken wings recipe card for quantities.
Busy Folks: Become a better home cook with tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. You'll also find more detailed steps for the instructions above. Learn more about prepping chicken and mushrooms.
- Fresh Ginger - one tablespoon of ginger paste for every one-and-a-half-inch ginger piece
- Dried Thyme - Two stems of thyme with leaves picked, or add whole to cooking and remove before serving for every quarter teaspoon of dried thyme
- Yolele Fonio - You can use regular fonio. Or you can use couscous, rice, or quinoa cooked as instructed on its package, then tossed with the rest of the ingredients. However, you will need to add more seasoning; try adding paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Cremini Mushrooms - You can use fresh shitake, white button, or small diced portobello mushrooms.
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
Serving Sides Suggestion
For a complete meal - Serve with your favorite side salad or steamed vegetables. Try a tomato-cucumber salad with vinaigrette or corn on the cob, steamed broccoli, asparagus, or green beans tossed in garlic and olive oil.
- Grilled Chicken: This marinade would make a great outdoor grilled chicken and even an air fryer grilled chicken recipe. You could also probably use the marinade to make chicken skewers in the oven or grill. For example, it definitely would be a great chicken skewer BBQ recipe. Since the onion marinade will tenderize your meat well, creating a delicious wet rub coat. It's like the perfect summer chicken recipe! You also can probably serve this chicken with Nigerian jollof rice. Jollof rice and chicken? Clearly, you can't go wrong.
- Oven Baked - If using the oven, place the oven rack in the center and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, pour the chicken and its marinade into a 9x13 deep baking dish. Set the cooking timer for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip each piece and spread it evenly to continue frying. Finally, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer on the thickest chicken piece. It should be at or over 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Air Fryer - For easy air fryer chicken, I used the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill; it's super convenient. For instance, the benefit of using an air fryer is making and cooking fried chicken in half the time. I also have many air fryer chicken recipes; check them out in the recipe card below, like my Hot Honey Lemon & Asparagus Chicken Skewers.
- No Air Fryer? - But if you don't have an air fryer, that's ok; I've also added instructions for the oven using a 9 x 13 baking dish. The baked chicken oven temperature will be 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
- Small Saucepan - Used to make the fonio.
- Medium Frying Pan - This recipe also requires some sauteing and cooking of the grains, so you'll need a sauté pan and a small saucepan. To develop this recipe, I used the All-Clad Non-stick 10-Inch Frying Pan.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the rice mixture and chicken in a shallow 2-inch pan to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. The meal will last up to two days.
- Freezer - First, follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Fluff the fonio with a fork to separate the grain, allowing excess liquid to escape, creating a fluffier fonio dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fonio is an ancient millet grain resembling semolina couscous that has been a staple and is native to West African cuisine for centuries, from Nigerian to Senegalese. It's wonderful how this grain has maintained its place in the local diet for so long. In addition, as someone who has only recently discovered fonio, I can say that it's a delicious grain that brings a whole new taste to my meals.
I love how it's so tender and warm, and has a smooth, irresistible taste. Fonio is a complete grain that can be added to any dish to achieve a better and more complete taste. It's incredible how something so simple can bring so much flavor to a dish. If you haven't tried Fonio yet, please let me suggest you try it. You will love the way it complements your meals.
I would compare this grain's taste and texture to a cross between couscous and quinoa, a tiny grain that is light and fluffy. It can be served alone or mixed with other ingredients to make a savory or sweet meal.
Its versatility is what I think makes it so favorable. I've seen fonio recipes, from porridges to grits with cheese, tossed in salads and used as a coating for air-fried meats.
Well, this was inspired by how Nigerians make Suya. Suya is traditionally marinated in spices, peppers, and ground peanuts, skewered, grilled, and usually sold as street food. As a result, I wanted to do a baked version for wings, and my best bet is to make a wet rub.
Peanut butter mixed well as a marinade, and I didn't want it to burn in the air fryer. In addition, using peanut butter actually reminded me of Satay. Satay, an Indonesian dish, is marinated meat skewers that are grilled and served with a spicy peanut butter sauce.
Jollof is traditionally a West African spicy red rice dish flavored with tomatoes, red peppers, chilies, spices, and onions. Sometimes with meat, fish, shellfish, or vegetables cooked in it. In addition, you'll find this dish from Senegal to Nigeria cooked in their way. And for the pilaf recipe, I wanted to ensure the Jollof-flavored fonio paired well with the mushroom by adding tomatoes, onion, and red bell peppers.
Pilaf is basically a cooking method where grains are cooked in spices and vegetables in a broth.
It has a higher smoke point and can be used in high temperatures over 400 degrees Fahrenheit before smoking. It has a neutral taste and will not overpower the dish's flavor.
Chef Pierre Thiam, a Senegalese Chef, is a master of flavor, and his passion for African farming communities shines through in his use of the ancient grain, fonio. Chef Pierre's brand, Yolele, has added flavored fonio to the culinary world, making it accessible to all seeking new and delicious ingredients.
This super grain is perfect for those who want to achieve a better and healthier lifestyle. Evidently, Chef Pierre's love for fonio is evident in his signature products, from packaged pilafs to chips. The flavored fonio pilaf - Jollof with Tomato and Bell Pepper are warm and flavorful, with a cook time of just 5 minutes.
Chef Pierre's fonio meal products and cause are not to be forgotten, and once you taste them, you'll be pleased. So please, let's get cookin' and bring some joy into your kitchen, and enjoy the delicious flavors this meal offers.
Looking for other African Inspired recipes like this? Try these:
Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other air fryer recipes like this? Try these:
Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings with Mushroom Jollof Seasoned Fonio Pilaf
- 6 chicken wings drums, and wings separated, yielding 12 pieces
- ¼ bunch parsley
- ¼ medium onion large chop
- ½ medium tomato large chop
- ½ red bell pepper large chop
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 1- inch ginger
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon scotch bonnet sauce
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to desired taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 packet of Yolele's Fonio Pilaf: Jollof- Tomato & Bell Pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion small diced
- 1 cup red bell pepper small diced
- 1 garlic clove garlic pressed or minced
- ½ cup tomato small diced
- 2 cup cremini mushroom thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Save time in the kitchen: Read the instructions thoroughly, then gather and prep all your ingredients before cooking! Learn Prepping Tips.
- Place chicken in a medium 3-quart mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, combine all the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.
- Pour marinade over chicken, combine well, place plastic wrap on top, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the air fryer temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and set the cooking time for 20 minutes. If using the oven, place the oven rack in the center and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the air fryer is ready, using an air fryer liner, pour the chicken and its marinade using a spatula. If using the oven, pour the chicken and its marinade into a 9x13 deep baking dish.
- Spread the chicken out evenly to cook uniformly.
- Close the lid to start the timer and cooking process. If using the oven, set the cooking timer for 45 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, stir the chicken well, flip each piece, and spread it evenly to continue frying. For the oven, do this process after 20 minutes.
- Make the pilaf. Follow the instructions on the Yolele package to cook the whole package. You will need a small 1.5-quart saucepot.
- On medium-high heat, heat a medium 10-inch saute pan.
- When the saute pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat. Wait at least 30 seconds to heat the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, thyme, salt, and black pepper, and saute for 3-5 minutes with a spatula until the onions and mushrooms are tender.
- Fluff the fonio pilaf with a fork and add it to the sauteed onion-mushroom mixture. Combine well, cover, and set aside to keep warm.
- When the air fryer or oven timer goes off, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer on the thickest chicken piece, it should be at or over 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley onto the fonio pilaf, and combine well.
- To plate the dish, divide and serve the pilaf on the plate, and place six pieces of chicken on top, garnish with chopped parsley.
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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