Taking the Fat out of the Chicken

Staying with my post-Purim “keeping in light” theme, I have to share an amazing recipe I found and adapted a little from my favorite new recipe book – Everyday Asian by Bill Granger. It’s another home run recipe from the Aussie chef.

This happens to be a recipe for sticky wings. I posted my own sticky wings recipe a few weeks ago, which is super easy and really takes no time to prepare. I still stand by that recipe as a very quick way to cook wings. This recipe requires a little more work and a few more ingredients, but if you are looking for a way to cut out the fat without skinning the chicken (and wings really can’t be skinned), then this is the recipe for you. I also plan on experimenting with using this method with other parts of the chicken and other sauces…watch this space.

The idea behind this method is to cook the chicken dry halfway through, and only then cover it with sauce and keep cooking. My husband was very skeptical, and didn’t trust Bill like I do. I saw the potential and went with it and I was glad I chose Bill over Peter! When I took the wings out after half an hour of cooking, they had yielded about a cup of fat (ugh!), which I could discard. Then by adding the sauce to the wings, which were quite dry from the cooking, I really got that stickiness that’s so appealing in chicken.

Sticky Chicken Wings

So once again, thanks to Bill Granger, my new best kitchen friend, for this wonderful recipe and method.

STICKY CHICKEN WINGS II

Ingredients

2 kg chicken wings (tips cut off)

1 tablespoon oil

4 cloves of garlic crushed

1 small red chili finely chopped or 1 teaspoon of crushed Cayenne pepper (you can adjust according to your desired heat level; I use the Cayenne pepper, which is a little more consistent in flavor than chilies.)

5 tablespoons mirin or mirin substitute (1-2 tablespoons of sugar mixed into a half a cup of white wine – use 5 tablespoons)

5 tablespoons soy sauce

5 tablespoons sake or sherry (Tio Pepe sherry is kosher) or white wine

A few drops of sesame oil

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

How to do it

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Dry baked wings ready for the sauce

2. Line a large roasting pan with baking paper and place the wings evenly on the tray. Roast the wings for 35-40 minutes, until they are golden. Remove the wings and transfer them into a clean tray lined with baking paper. (You can also just pour the fat off and reuse the pan, but I found it easier to just transfer the chicken into a clean pan and let the fat cool for easier disposal – never pour hot oil down the sink as it clogs the drain.)

3. While the wings are cooking, in a saucepan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and chili (if using) until the garlic is just golden (about 1 minutes). Add the Cayenne pepper (if using) mirin, soy sauce, sake/sherry/wine, sesame oil and sugar. Stir together, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half.

The fat from the wings!

4. Pour the sauce over the wings, turning them to make sure they’re all coated, and return to the oven. Cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the wings are dark and sticky. Turn the wings every 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top to serve, if desired.

Serves about 6-8.

Tip: You can have your butcher cut the wings in half and serve them as a starter or as finger food.

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