Chile Garlic Chicken WingsRecipe By: Andrea Nguyen
Excerpted from the cookbook, Vietnamese Food Any Day by Andrea Nguyen.
Nibbling on chicken wings with an ice-cold beer is a great way to nosh Vietnamese style, but I don’t get out the fryer to make the wings. Instead, I coat them in our spices and oil, and roast them. Remarkably, they crisp up as if you’d deep-fried them. Rice flour yields slightly crisper results than wheat flour, but it’s a marginal difference so use what you like. If you don’t have cooking spray or a hand-pump oil mister, oil the foil and then tumble the flour-coated wings in 2 to 3 tablespoons of neutral oil before roasting.
For a party, roast the wings in advance, cover loosely and keep at a cool room temperature for up to 2 hours. When you’re ready to serve, reheat in a 350°F oven for 6 minutes, until hot, and then toss with the sauce. Sauced wings keep their texture well for about 1 hour.
- Canola spray oil
- 2 pounds chicken drumettes and flats (“party wings”; 16 to 20 pieces)
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour (white or brown, such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1⁄2 tsp recently ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 to 3 tbsp chile garlic sauce (see page 31; use the maximum if homemade)
- 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup or brown rice syrup (such as Lundberg)
- 1 Persian or 1⁄2 English cucumber, thickly sliced (optional)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. Pat the wings dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Add all the chicken and toss, using your hands to ensure a thorough coating. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spray the chicken on both sides with oil, then spread out the wings on the pan for even cooking.
- Roast the wings for 45 minutes, turning after 30 minutes, or when they hiss and are browned on the underside. The magic happens in the last 15 minutes, when they become richly browned and crispy.
- While the wings roast, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, fish sauce, chile garlic sauce and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Let bubble vigorously for 45 to 60 seconds, until thick (look for biggish bubbles on the surface). Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a large bowl to finish cooling and thickening, about 15 minutes.
- When the wings are done, let them rest for about 5 minutes, then toss in the sauce and transfer to a platter.
- Serve the wings with the cucumber slices on the side, if desired, for a cooling crunch. Have diners add a squeeze of lime juice for bright contrast, if they like.