Honey Soy Chicken WingsSteven Raichlen
These wings (which would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday) take on a distinctly Asian flavor profile thanks to a marinade featuring honey, soy sauce, ginger, and Chinese five-spice powder, likely one of the most aromatic spices in your pantry. (Be sure to pick up a fresh jar if you suspect yours is more than 6 months old.) I like to use whole wings for this recipe, stretching them out on skewers to maximize their surface area. But feel free to substitute drumettes and flats, if desired. Provide plenty of napkins! These wings are sticky. But oh-so-good.
Honey Soy Chicken Wings
- Advance Prep: 4 to 6 hours for marinating the chicken wings.
- Yield: Serves 4
- Equipment: 12 8- to 10-inch bamboo skewers
- 3 pounds large whole chicken wings (about 12 whole wings)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or more sesame oil for basting
For the marinade:
- 1/2 cup light (regular) soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dark (sweet) soy sauce (or more light soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup honey (6 tablespoons if not using dark soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 cup Chinese rice wine, sake, or dry sherry
- 4 1/4-inch thick slices fresh ginger, crushed with the side of a cleaver
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (or aniseseed)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced crosswise
For serving (optional):
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/2 cup sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce
Step 1: Make one or two deep slashes to the bone in the top (the thickest part) and middle segment of each wing. Place the wings in a large nonreactive mixing bowl.
Step 2: Make the marinade: Combine the soy sauces, honey, sesame oil, rice wine, ginger, five-spice powder, pepper, and cinnamon and mix well. (I like to mix with my hands.)
Step 3: Marinate the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, turning the pieces several times.
Step 4: Set up your grill or smoker for smoking/indirect grilling and preheat to 340 degrees (if your smoker will go that high; if not, smoke longer). Drain the chicken wings. Thread each wing on a bamboo skewer, piercing through the meatiest sections and stretching the wings out as far as possible. Arrange skin-side down on the grate over the drip pan or on the smoker racks away from the heat.
Smoke the wings until crisp-skinned, darkly browned, and cooked through, about 1 hour. Start basting the wings with the vegetable oil after 30 minutes and baste several times during cooking.
Step 5: In the meantime, combine equal parts of hoisin sauce and sriracha for serving. (Divide among 4 small bowls.)
Step 6: Serve the wings with the sauce.
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