When I was a little girl, my father didn’t make much money so one chicken served our family of six. As the littlest I got the wings and to this day they are still my favorite part of the chicken. Moist and tender, they are full of flavor. I was thrilled when chicken wings became a popular appetizer and it is one of the most requested appetizers at my parties.
Wings can be baked, roasted, grilled, or fried. The most common version is Buffalo Wings, soaked in hot sauce and deep fried. I like the flavor of them but the heat doesn’t work for everyone so I prefer to serve this version. You can bake the wings as I’ve written, or you can grill them on a barbecue. Marinate as directed and cook on the grill. Reduce the sauce until thick and baste the cooking wings.
Hoisin sauce is an Asian soy sauce-based concoction often used in stir-fry recipes. It is sweet, salty, and spicy. Thick and rich, it is a great base for any number of other applications. Boldly flavored, a little goes a long way. It is mixed with other flavors for a unique Asian flavor. Sweet and sticky as can be, make sure you have lots of napkins on hand when you serve these savory wings.
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
The easiest way to peel ginger is to trim off any bumps and, using any regular teaspoon, scrape the peel off. To grate ginger, use a Microplane grater, the best on the market! They are inexpensive and worth every penny.
Kitchen Skill: Reducing Sauces
Why: To thicken liquids to a sauce consistency and concentrate flavors.
How: Place liquid in a saucepan and boil, evaporating moisture, until it reduces in volume and thickens. For most sauces once it coats the back of a spoon it is perfect. But if you continue to boil it you will eventually get to a glaze. Flavors intensify as it reduces so start with a mildly flavored liquid and season at the end of cooking.
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce (available in Asian markets)
- 1 tbsp black bean sauce
- 1 (10 oz) can beef consommé (not beef stock!)
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional
- Chicken Wings
- 3 lbs chicken wings, tips discarded, cut between joint into two pieces
- 3 green onions, minced
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, optional
- In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Whisk thoroughly. This marinade can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
- In a large, shallow baking dish arrange wings, add sauce, cover and marinate 1 hour in refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes until meat is tender. Remove from oven and transfer wings to an ovenproof serving dish. Turn oven down to 200°F and keep wings in warm oven.
- Pour cooking juices into a saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Stir in white and light green parts of minced onions. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly to keep it from burning, or until thick and sticky.
- Pour half of sauce over wings and toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange on serving platter. Drizzle with a little of remaining sauce, sprinkle with remaining green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Pass additional sauce at table if desired or keep for leftovers.
- Yield: 10 to 12 appetizer servings
- MAKE AHEAD: While these are best the day they are made, they hold up well and can be made a day ahead. Reheat, covered, in a slow oven until warmed all the way through. Garnish with onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot.