Crispy Baked Thai Chili Chicken Wings
Adapted from Just a Taste: http://www.justataste.com/crispy-baked-asian-chicken-wings-with-hoisin-glaze/ and Savoring Today: http://savoringtoday.com/thai-chili-sesame-chicken-wings/
I remember being a teenager riding the #51 bus to Cleveland Circle and listening to my Walkman. Actually, it was a yellow Sports Walkman because I’m fancy – and it was the international sign for, “Please weirdo people on this bus don’t talk to me.” Aside from being my public transportation anti-social tool of the time, the Sports Walkman was also the closest thing I got to being athletic.
My Sports Walkman would usually have a TDK mix-tape that included a few Madonna songs on it. When I would listen to her sing songs like Dress You Up I would look out of the window and go into another world, seeing myself as being one of her back-up singers. (I can’t believe that I just admitted that.)
Fast forward to today and I still think about being her back-up singer. (Again, I can’t believe I just admitted that.) I know at this point that probably won’t happen. I’m not being negative, just that I’m not a professional singer of any sort. My best concerts are in the car. But I don’t know if I’m Madonna World Tour worthy. Unless her next tour is in my car.
There are other things – maybe more realistic things – that I dream about. The number one thing is making The Tasty Page a huge success. A close second is winning a chicken wing eating contest.
I’m being serious.
I get such a thrill at the thought of someone saying, “On your mark. Get set. GO!” while there is a bucket of chicken in front of me. With a life-long love of chicken wings and being a proud member of The Clean Plate Club I think I have a good shot at winning. And if I don’t win, I’ll still get to eat all the chicken wings I want. So really, when time is called and I look down at the graveyard of wing bones in front of me I will be winning no matter what.
Even though I love anything fried, I like the ease of baking chicken wings. The first time I followed this recipe I liked how, though baked, they still had a nice crunch to them. Since then I’ve been making chicken wings this way and adding any type of sauce to them, like Buffalo and others. Being a big Patriots fan, wings are in heavy rotation during the season and baking them enables me to watch the games and practice my wing-eating contest skills.
The original recipe for the wings from Just a Taste says to use 1 tablespoon of 5-spice powder or any type of Asian spice blend (side note: Asian Spice Blend would have been my Spice Girl name.) Personally, I think 5-spice is a little too strong so I used McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Asian Seasoning. It’s a blend of sesame seed, garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and orange peel. It’s flavorful, but subtle enough to use with any type of sauce you decide to use for these wings.
For this batch I drenched the wings in Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. I made the sauce using Savoring Today’s recipe and it’s very close to the king of bottled Thai sweet chili sauces: Mae Ploy. The recipe is and quick and easy to make and full of flavor. An added bonus is that it doesn’t contain sugar, and that’s a big plus for anyone looking to cut the amount of sugar they eat.
When I’ve been too lazy to make the sauce I use Mae Ploy, which is an amazing, sweet and slightly spicy sauce. I pick up a couple of bottles when I’m at the Asian grocery store. But if you don’t have one near you I believe some local grocery stores have started to carry it. Trader Joe’s also has its own Thai sweet chili sauce and it is really good and very close to Mae Ploy’s flavor.
Going back to my dreams, I think this post is helping them come true. Here I am on The Tasty Page talking about winning a chicken wing eating contest. The chances of being a success at both is definitely a strong possibility. That being said, the more I think about it, I think I may actually audition to be Madonna’s back-up singer. You never know. “You’ve got style, that’s what all the girls say….”
- 2½ pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
- 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 Tablespoon Asian spice blend (like McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Asian spice blend)
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce -- Red Boat
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1½ tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 4 cloves garlic -- minced
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot -- dissolved in ¼ cup water
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Rinse wings and drumettes and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with grapeseed oil and spice blend until well coated. Position wings on baking racks in a single layer ensuring that wings aren't touching.
- Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove wings from oven and transfer to a large bowl.
- Drizzle wings with sauce, tossing until well coated. Serve immediately.
- While wings are baking, mix the honey, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sherry, chili sauce, and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce and concentrate the sauce.
- Stir in cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside until chicken is done. The seasoning can be adjusted at this point--adding more chili sauce for spice or more honey for sweetness.