January 20, 2014

Ginger Chili Wings

It's almost time for the Superbowl, which means you get to eat greasy, fatty foods for hours on end. If you don't have a deep fryer, making food for all your friends can be tricky. If you want to avoid breaking your resolutions, not eating all the food can be tricky. Luckily, my ginger chili wings solve both of those dilemmas. They are sticky, sweet, and spicy, and it is so easy to make a batch big enough for a huge party.

I start by trimming the wings. I usually buy whole wings because they are cheaper, but if you want to buy pre-separated wings to skip the extra prep, that is perfectly ok. If you do buy the whole wings, you have to cut them into thirds--the drummette, the 'wing', and the tip. Just get your biggest, heaviest knife (a cleaver works well), find the joint, and cut between the bones. A great knife will cut straight through the bone if you can't find the joint, but cutting through the joint won't dull your knife as much and will require less force on your part. The tips aren't that meaty, so I generally throw them away or use them to make chicken stock; I then trim the other pieces to remove any large pieces of fat.

Once your chicken wings are cut and trimmed, you can make the marinade. It's really easy--just stir a few things together, add the wings, and let sit overnight. They can definitely marinate longer, though.

To cook the wings, I use my secret weapon, a cast iron griddle or skillet. It makes the wings crispy and brown without much oil at all, which is definitely better than grease splatters and tons of calories. However, they usually brown faster than they cook, so you aren't quite done yet.

I have found that the best way to continue cooking the wings is to bake them. They are already crispy from the griddle, so you don't have to do much more. I toss them in a sweet glaze to balance out the spicy marinade, and you can let them sit in the glaze overnight before baking so that they become even more flavorful. If you want leftovers, I highly recommend making the recipe up to this point and then just throwing them in the oven to finish cooking. Whether you're eating them that day or later on, spread the wings onto a cookie tray and bake until cooked through; it should only take 15 minutes or so. The glaze will become sticky and keep the wings juicy, which makes them the perfect recipe for your Superbowl party or just a regular meal.

8 lbs Chicken Wings
2 Habaneros, Diced
1 ¼ Cups Soy Sauce
¼ Cup + 2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T Chili Oil
¼ Cup Oyster Sauce
¼ Cup Sesame Oil
⅓ Cup Shao Xing or Dry Sherry
¼ Cup Hoisin Sauce
¾ Cup Chicken Broth
¼ Cup Chopped Garlic
⅓ lb Diced Ginger
2 tsp Minced Ginger
¼ Cup Honey

Combine the habaneros, 1 cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, chili oil, oyster sauce, 2 T sesame oil, shao xing, hoisin sauce, chicken broth, garlic, and diced ginger. Add the wings and let sit overnight.

Combine the remaining soy sauce, remaining sesame oil, honey, grated ginger, and remaining rice wine vinegar.

Sear the wings on a cast iron griddle or skillet until deep brown and cooked through. Toss in the glaze.

Heat oven to 350F and line cookie trays with foil. Spread the wings on the trays and bake until cooked through, 10-15 minutes.

Serves 8-10

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