January 29, 2012

Korean Wings

Brian requested buffalo wings for Super Bowl Sunday. Really? Buffalo wings?

What do you like to eat on Superbowl Sunday?
Truthfully, I have actually never made buffalo wings before.

So, yesterday we had a little practice session.  A wing contest. Well it turned into a contest because Brian apparently just wanted strait up, basic buffalo wings.... and of course I didn't want to make those, and instead wanted to experiment and come up with something different. So Brian made his traditional buffalo wings and I made an untraditional version, Korean Wings. 

Well....one thing happened. We ended up with a LOT of wings. 

And both were extremely tasty.

But mine were more crispy.

Probably due to the fact that they were fried TWICE.
Yes, thats right, you read right.

No wonder why people fry chicken. Its quite extraordinary really. I thought briefly about roasting them in the oven, to make them healthier. But seriously, whats the point?  If you are going to eat chicken wings, you might as well make it worth it. And for chicken wings to be worth it, the skin needs to be crispy.  It's difficult to achieve this in an oven.

I did use fresh oranges, however.

The first step is brining the wings.  And don't even think about skipping this step.

This will give them far better flavor and keep them moist on the inside. And it's so easy.
While the chicken is in the brine, make the sauce.

Saute garlic and ginger in a saute pan for few minutes.

Add Mirin, soy sauce, oj, orange zest, brown sugar, rice vinegar,
sesame oil and gochujang ( a fermented korean chili paste).
I also added sriracha for extra heat.

The gochujang is really not a spicy as it looks,
but it does add an interesting flavor.

Let this come to a simmer for 1-2 minutes and then turn off heat.
This will thicken and become nice and sticky. Set aside.

Set up a frying station on your stove,
with a deep saute pan or wide pot filled with 1 inch of canola oil.
Next to this, place a wire rack over a sheet pan.
Turn heat to med high and heat oil to 350F.

Whip up an easy batter in a med sized bowl
with cornstarch flour and water.
I also experimented with a dry flour mixture,
but the batter was 100 times better.

In batches, dip your wings into the batter and place onto a plate.
I did about ten at a time. Depending on how wide your pan is,
you may be able to do more or less.

Then gently place in the hot oil, careful not to splatter.
They should sizzle.
It's a beautiful sound.

Cook for 5 minutes before turning them over.....and cook for two more.
A total of 7 minutes.
They will be a very light golden color.
In batches, cook all the chicken and then place on the rack.

Once you are done, you will fry them again. 
They are fried twice.
This time for 4 minutes until they are really golden brown.

Heat up your thickened delicious sticky sauce
and using tongs, roll your double fried chicken wings
coating all sides.

Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

You could serve with something pickled...like pickled cucumbers or diakon radish.
It goes well with this.

Yes, this is a little bit of a production, but it's worth the effort.

In a large bowl. Mix 1c sugar and 1c salt with 8 C water
brine 4 lbs chicken wings for 1-4 hours.

Make Sauce:
2T chopped ginger
3T choped garlic
1 T canola for 3-4 minutes

1/2 C mirin
1/2 C soy
zest of one orange
1 C Orange juice (2-3 Oranges)
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 T sesame oil
3 T korean fermented chili paste
1-2 T Sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
Bring to a simmer and let simmer  for 2-3  min.
Let cool.

Make batter:
In a small bowl, mix:
1/2 C flour
1/2 C corn starch
1 1/3 water

Fry the chicken:
Use a deep sauté pan or pot.
Add 3/4 to 1 inch of canola oil. Heat on med -high heat until 350F.
I don't have a thermometer, so i guessed, testing the oil with a little drop of batter.
When is sizzled heartily, it seemed hot enough.
Working in batches, dip chicken in batter and place gently in oil, careful not to splatter. Be careful not to over crowd. Leave in 5 mins, then gently turn over and leave 2 more minutes.They should be a very light golden color. Place on a cooling rack set over over a sheet pan. Do all the chicken.
Then fry them one more time for 4-5 mins until a deep golden color. Test one for doneness.Some of the bigger wings i left in a little longer.  This second fry, will give you good crispy skinned chicken.
Lastly heat up your sticky korean sauce. Roll your twice fried wings in the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds  and scallions.