Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Five-Spice Chinese Chicken Wings...

Chicken wings are synonymous to meals in my household. Although I've marinated wings a variety of ways, the style I favourite is Chinese with five-spice flavouring. Five spice powder is used in Chinese cooking primarily for enhancing stir-fries, deep-fried foods and meat marinades.  The blend consists of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper and fennel seeds, with its combination stemming from the belief that the universe is composed of five elements- wood, metal, water, fire and earth. With just an addition of a few ingredients, then oven-baked and pan-fried the results are wings that are slightly sticky, very moist and full of flavour.

Five-Spice Chinese Chicken Wings
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1-1/2 to 2 lb. chicken wings, split
1/4 kosher/sea salt and a few dashes ground white pepper
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. mirin or 1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine and 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce 
1 tsp. dark soy sauce

1) Season the wings with salt and pepper; mix the wings in the marinade and refrigerate for at least one hour before cooking.

2) Place wings on slightly greased foil on baking tray; discard marinade. I like to use the convection oven if there isn't a whole lot of wings to bake to save energy.

Do not overcrowd or wings won't crisp and cook evenly.

Option: if you have some Thai basil, fry and toss until crisp in some oil in a hot pan. Use to garnish your wings and to add another dimension of flavour.

3) Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes until top skin is crispy golden and wings are cooked.

4) Toss wings in a hot skillet along with its juices for two minutes until thoroughly coated.

Toss with the crispy basil leaves and remove onto plate.

These are perfect served with sriracha sauce at the table.

TIP: Sometimes I like to serve the wings with their tips. They taste heartier and their crevices more flavourful to enjoy.

Serve wings simply with a sprinkling of green onions or cilantro.

For a different flavour profile in a braised style and also delicious, try Braised Chicken Wings with Bamboo Shoots.

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