Sweet Chili Wings
Wings. Wings. More wings! Let’s face it, wings are one of those things, unlike men’s jeggings, that will never go out of style, get boring, or ever be refused by polite society. Now, as our quest for the most amazing wingage continues, I decided to give an asian inspired wing recipe a spin. I’ve tried out the traditional Frank’s Hot sauce variation, and Drew Cerza’s Bourbon variety which more than appeased my penchant for all things spicy, but I yearned for something different…perhaps something that wouldn’t singe the tastebuds off of my friends and send them crying in the corner.
Ok, I admit, perhaps I may have leaned towards this recipe because I am a bit biased…I mean, I’m asian, you throw in some plum, hoisin, or fish sauce in anything and I’m pretty much already halfway sold. Biases aside though, the promise of sweet and spiciness of these wings was pretty irresistible and given that I just happen to have all of the ingredients in my pantry AND it only takes 5 minutes to throw together the sauce, was there really ANY reason to not make this? I didn’t think so…
As expected, these wings were really superb. The spiciness is easily adjustable according to your tastes with either more or less serrano chilis (which I usually buy in bulk at the asian mart and freeze in ziplocks. They will keep for several months this way.) and sriracha sauce. The sweetness of the hoisin and plum sauce provide an amazing counterbalance to the spiciness without ever bordering on being too sweet and saccharine. It gives it that bit of complex sweetness that tempers the heat and provides another avenue of flavor for your tastebuds to focus on while the heat does its thing!
I’ll definitely be making these again…and in the oven of course! Ever since I figured out that you can do wings in the oven, it has quickly become my wing preparation method of choice. I’m going to get on my soapbox for a moment and declare, “Throw ye all your hot fryers away and crank up your ovens!!” Wings without any of the deep fryer guilt. What more can you ask for?
Sweet Chili Wings
Adapted from PARADE | January 2008
For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups rice or cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons Chinese plum or duck sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons (or to taste) finely chopped fresh red, jalapeño or serrano chili, with seeds
2 tablespoons (or to taste) Sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
30 chicken wings (about 3lbs, tips removed and cut at joint into sections)
To prepare sauce
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to boil and then reduce to medium low. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly to blend flavors. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly to blend the flavors. Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender or using a hand blender until smooth. Yields 3 cups. Sauce may be stored, covered in air tight container, in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
For the chicken wings
Place rack into bottommost position of oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Prepare a non stick roasting pan or spray some cooking spray into a roasting pan. Place wings in a single layer, about 1″ apart into pan and place onto bottom rack of oven. Bake about 20 minutes, flipping every 5-7 minutes, until wings are done and crispy.
Add the wings to a large mixing bowl and toss in the sauce, coating each wing.