Sticky Honey Korean Chicken Wings
This recipe is inspired by Korean fried chicken, whereby boneless chicken thighs are fried and tossed either in a sticky, savory sauce or with lots of crispy garlic. The main ingredient in the sauce is gochujang—a sweet and spicy fermented Korean chili paste that can be found in the international condiment section of many grocery stores. In a pinch, the wings can be tossed in another favorite sauce or just eaten plain with flavoring from the garlic and ginger marinade.
Wings are an essential component of any game day tailgating spread. This unique take on the classic is an option guests will go crazy for! The sweet and savory flavor of the sauce on the crispy wings complements the Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip (page 72) on the Tailgating Board (page 71). Don’t forget to serve the wings with a roll of paper towels or napkins!
- Chicken Wings
- 3 pounds (1.4 kg) chicken wings
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cup (63 g) cornstarch
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Gochujang Sauce
cup (60 ml) gochujang
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons (75 ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons packed (30 g) dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice
- To Serve
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Prepare the chicken wings: Separate the chicken wings, if whole, into the drumette, wingette (or flat) and tip. Discard the tips. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and toss with the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Let the wings sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then toss with the cornstarch. Meanwhile, pour enough vegetable oil into a large, deep cast-iron pan to reach 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F (177°C) and, working in batches, shake off any excess cornstarch and fry the chicken wings, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
While the wings marinate, prepare the gochujang sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the gochujang, tomato paste, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice until all the ingredients are incorporated and the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. The sauce can be made up to a week ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
To serve, reheat the sauce, if necessary, and toss with the freshly fried chicken wings. Serve topped with the sesame seeds and green onions, on their own or on the Tailgating Board (page 71).
When frying anything in batches, wait a few minutes in between so the oil can heat back up. This way, everything will cook evenly and for the same amount of time.
Reprinted with permission from Share + Savor by Kylie Mazon-Chambers, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020.
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