I'm not a fan of fried foods. The three primary reasons are: they are not healthy; cooking them is messy as hell; and it is a very tedious process to fry food in small batches so that you maintain an oil temp of 350º. So if given the option, I'll take baking over frying every day of the week.
Besides being a whole lot less work, these wings end up being every bit as crispy as fried because they are twice-baked....first at 250º and then at 425º. Then they are tumbled in a special sauce that contains one of my very favorite ingredients, Gochujang Sauce.
Gochujang Sauce is a staple of Korean cooking . It is made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. The ingredients are combined in large earthen pots and then set outside to ferment in the sun. It is found in the Asian section of your grocery store and also at Amazon.com. If you're lucky, you'll get Sunchang Gochujang. Sunchang County in Korea is famous for their sauce.
This Nicky Corbishley recipe is ideal for appetizers...it yields about 45 chicken wings. If you're serving it up as a dinner item for your family, you'll want to adjust the recipe. When I make this recipe as a dinner, I serve it with sticky rice. The rice is a nice, neutral complement to the heat of the wings.
For the Wings
4 pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Sauce
3 tablespoons Gochujang Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 small bunch of scallions, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 250º and place a metal rack on a large baking tray. Cut each wing at the joint so you have a mini wing and a drumette.
- Dry the wings with paper towels, then place in a large bowl and add the baking powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Place the wings and drumettes in a single layer on the rack, skin side up. It’s fine for them to be touching. Place on the lower shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven up to 425º, rotate the tray and place on a higher shelf in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the wings are golden and crispy. Take out of the oven to cool slightly.
- Place all of the sauce ingredients into a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Allow to bubble for 5-10 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly (it will thicken more as it cools). Turn off the heat.
- Place the wings in a large bowl and very carefully pour over half of the sticky sauce (be careful, it will be VERY hot). Toss to combine, then serve topped with sesame seeds, chopped spring onions and the rest of the sauce for dipping.
Pairing: A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would go well with this recipe. But since it is packing Gochujang heat, I would opt for The Premier OB Pilsner from South Korea.