Sweet and Spicy: Chicken Wings Two Ways, Baked and Fried | What’s Cooking
We’re sharing these two recipes as Super Bowl party menu ideas, but after tasting the knockout flavors in both dishes, you’ll want to make them more than just once a year. These chicken wings are perfect as finger-licking appetizers or main-course MVPs (we recommend serving them alongside rice and vegetables like blanched green beans).
In our first recipe for baked chicken wings, Sriracha and a couple tablespoons of ground Tellicherry peppercorns get things fired up but are sweetly balanced by a mouthwatering caramel glaze. Our second recipe calls for frying the chicken wings. In this dish, even more black peppercorns lend their heat to an Asian-inspired sauce with ginger and shallots. A quick toasting of the peppercorns and a final addition of just a bit of coconut milk mellows any overly pungent spice in a surprisingly mild but still peppery sauce that gets tossed with the crispy-skinned wings.
Black Pepper and Caramel Chicken Wings
From our Nordstrom Flavors Cookbook
4 pounds chicken wings
1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought caramel sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground Tellicherry peppercorns
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
Vegetable-oil cooking spray for preparing the rack
Using a cleaver or heavy knife, cut each wing at its three joints. Set aside the drumettes and second joints for this recipe, and reserve the wingtips for another use (such as making stock) or discard.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce, the soy sauce, chile sauce, salt, peppercorns and garlic to make a marinade. Place the chicken in a lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade, coating the wings evenly. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a large wire rack on the baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.
Put the wings in a colander to drain off the excess marinade, and then arrange them on the rack on the baking sheet. Roast until the skin is crispy and a deep mahogany and the meat has begun to pull away from the bone, 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the wings to a large bowl.
Drizzle the wings with the remaining 3/4 cup caramel sauce and toss. Return to the rack on the baking sheet and cook until the wings are freshly glazed, about 6 minutes. Transfer the wings to a serving platter, let cool just slightly and then serve.
Chef’s Note: Tellicherry peppercorns, named for a town in India, are renowned for their fruity, fragrant bouquet, with a depth of flavor and pungency that no other peppercorns can deliver. They owe their superior reputation in part to the fact that they are usually picked from the top of the vine, where they grow larger than they do on the lower area. Do as we do in our restaurants and grind peppercorns as they are needed, keeping their essential oils locked inside until the last second.
For the best results, chop fresh chicken wings for this dish, as frozen drumettes give off too much water when roasted, diluting the mouthwatering glaze.
Spicy Black Pepper Chicken Wings
From our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
Canola oil for deep-frying
16 chicken wings, chopped apart at the joints, wingtips discarded
1/4 cup canned coconut milk, well shaken
1 small red jalapeño chile, cut into thin rings
To make the Black Pepper Sauce, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the peppercorns and cook, stirring occasionally, until you see a wisp of smoke and they smell very fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Grind the peppercorns in an electric spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle to the consistency of fine sand.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, ginger and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the vinegar and cook, uncovered, until the vinegar evaporates, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pepper and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper bag.
Pour enough canola oil into a large, deep saucepan to reach 3 inches up the sides, then heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. In batches, without crowding, add the chicken wings and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 1/2 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the wings to the oven pan. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining wings.
Just before serving, whisk the coconut milk into the black pepper mixture and reheat over medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, gradually stir in water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as needed. Transfer the wings to a large bowl. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle a light dusting of salt over the wings.
Garnish with jalapeño rings and serve.
Try these recipes and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom Cookbooks (available in selected Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).
Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!