A great way to entertain a bunch of standing, balcony-invading, chatting, newly arriving and otherwise not organizable guests is to place a baking tray full of chicken bits in some strategic location close to the drinks. In order to avoid big or unwieldy pieces I don’t do it the cheap way this time, which would be chopping up a few whole chickens. Robin likes chicken wings; I find that they often have too much crunch in relationship to the meaty part. I buy a lot of chicken drumsticks.
I preheat the oven to medium high, 360-370 F (180-190 C). I pour an appropriate amount of salt over all the parts and mix them by hand. I press some garlic over two thirds of the chicken bits and mix again (I do wash my hands before and after). Then I make three heaps, two with garlic and one without.
One of the piles receives a healthy dot of sharp sauce of some sort. I could make one from scratch and this is how: using a blender or a stone mortar, I grind one coarsely chopped normal-size hot pepper, a pinch of salt and a dash of white vinegar into a smooth pulp. This pulp is then rubbed into party chicken No. 1. Appropriate complementary spices are cumin, coriander powder and paprika (not too much of the latter because it gets black in the oven).
For the second of the heaps I blend a teaspoon full of freshly ground or chopped rosemary, some ground black pepper and three tablespoons of red wine and rub this mix evenly into the the chicken bits.
The no-garlic version for the wimps is this one: some crumbled (or chopped fresh) tarragon leaves, three tablespoons of white wine, pepper, mixed as above.
These parts should be done after c. 50 minutes at 370 F (190 C).