Chicken wing revelation

As I may have mentioned in past nacho related posts, I don’t really care for football, but it does overlap with one of my passions: chicken wings. Thus, I can always be counted on for hanging out and “watching” the big game, if there are chicken wings (or nachos) involved.

I used to think that the best wings had to be deep fried (no breading), to get crispy, evenly rendered skin. But then I made these:

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I have to give credit to Alton Brown for the technique, but I added my own twist. I wasn’t convinced until they were all done and I bit into one, but steaming them before roasting is the key! Steaming cooks them nearly through, rendering a lot of fat from the skin and shrinking it up a bit (like pouring boiling water over the skin when making Peking duck!) Then, chill the wings down on cookie sheets in the fridge so that the skins really dry out and they don’t overcook during the roasting stage. Roast in a hot oven to brown and crisp the skin, tossing them in your favorite sauce right before serving. I made a traditional buffalo style (left) and a spicy soy-sesame (right), with carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing of course. Some bottled Franks Red Hot with a bit of melted butter in it would work just as well if you don’t want to make your own.

I added a marinade step that Alton doesn’t use, because I often find that chicken wings are delicious on the outside, but boring on the inside. You can skip it if you are in a rush though.

  • 24 chicken wing parts (a large pack)
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients above into a large, nonreactive bowl or ziplock bag and toss around to coat. Let marinate for one hour or longer (up to overnight). Set a large steamer basket in a pot with about an inch of water in it and bring to a low boil. Line the steamer basket with chicken wings, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings, pat dry with a paper towel and lay on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. Cool in the fridge for an hour.

Roast the wings in a 425F oven for 20 minutes, flip, and roast another 20 until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and toss with your sauce of choice.

Spicy Soy-Sesame Glaze

  • 1/2 c soy sauce or Braggs (this recipe is gluten free if you use liquid aminos instead of soy)
  • 1/2 c honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 c rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste (or dried chili flakes or other hot stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Combine all ingredients except sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil and taste. Add more sweet, hot or vinegar to get the flavor you like. Garnish with chopped cilantro, sesame seeds or chives.

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