'Will you be making those tasty little chicken-wing thingeys?' asked Peter, as we prepared to welcome some friends for a gathering. 'Absolutely,' I replied. 'They're always a great crowd pleaser,' I added with a smile.
Chicken wings in one form or another have been a favourite of mine since childhood. My mother used to crumb a massive pile of them, along with drumsticks, and serve them with her special potato salad for our 'new-Australian' Christmas dinner.
I greatly enjoy the Vietnamese version made with lemongrass and chilli, a la Luke Nguyen. Or, the Thai ones that have been marinated in red curry paste and fried off in oil that is infused with kaffir lime leaves. Wow! How good are spicy Indian tandoori wings. And let's not forget buffalo chicken wings with cayenne pepper and hot sauce! Yep, I love 'em all. Pass me a bowlful with a spare dish for the bones, and a packet of 'Wet Ones' hand wipes, and leave me be for a while, please. ♥♥
My favourite recipe of all (other than my mother's crumbed wings) is one I have perfected across three decades or so. While I love fried chicken, my wings are baked, not fried, as I figure they are fatty enough. I don't measure the ingredients, there's no need. I know that a splash of this, a splodge of that and a scattering of the other, make for the perfect marinade. But for the purposes of sharing my recipe, I have measured things out for you.
The ingredients that set this recipe apart from others are the orange juice and zest, the baby stem ginger and the sesame oil. But you can use powdered, pickled or fresh ginger, if you cannot find baby stem ginger. I've also been known to use citrus infused Agrumato oil when there are no oranges in the house. Enjoy xo
CHICKEN WINGS WITH BABY STEM GINGER, HONEY & SESAME
2 kilograms free-range chicken wings
60 mls sweet chilli sauce
60 mls kecap manis (or tamari)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baby stem ginger, chopped (or use fresh grated ginger instead)
juice and zest of an orange
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted, to garnish
1 tablespoon baby spring onions, sliced, to garnish
Working with a sharp knife and a chopping board, cut the wings into three sections: the wing tip, the drumlet or drumette, and the winglet. You can use the wing tips for making stock. Clean away any feathers and trim any excess fat from the other two portions. Place them into a large Pyrex bowl.
To make the marinade, combine the sweet chilli sauce, kecap manis (or tamari), honey, sugar, ginger, orange juice and zest, peanut and sesame oil and cracked black pepper in a jug. Mix well and pour over the chicken pieces, and mix with clean hands, ensuring they are well covered. Allow the flavours to develop, if you have time, by refrigerating for at least an hour, if not several.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. (With my oven, I have a 'roast' option, which browns the outside of meat or poultry beautifully). Line a baking tray with parchment and scatter the chicken pieces evenly over the tray. Bake for up to an hour or just a little longer, until the chicken is nicely browned. Crank up the temperature a little if you need to, but keep an eye on things. Brush with the remaining marinade and turn the pieces over during the cooking time too. Garnish with the sliced spring onion and sesame seeds and serve. Makes plenty! Serves 8-10.
Go on, have some... you know you want to! ♥
Tell me dear readers and fellow cooks, do you love chicken-wing thingeys too? What's your favourite way of preparing them?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.