Ode to winged heroes


Comforting dish a breeze to make on quiet nights at home

GRILLED chicken wings are the unsung heroes of any gathering.

They are effortless crowd-pleasers at parties, yet they are equally loved at home as a comforting meal on a quiet night.

Sometimes when I feel lazy to cook but still need to get dinner done, I’ll just pop these chicken wings into the oven and have a delicious meal that goes well with rice, noodles, bread or mashed potatoes.

Grilled wings garnished with coriander and diced chillies.— Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The StarGrilled wings garnished with coriander and diced chillies.— Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

This recipe uses soy and ginger as its main seasoning, with honey as a glaze at the end of roasting.

You may also sprinkle sesame seeds after applying the honey, to give the wings an attractive garnish and add more flavour.

The key to great tasting wings is prolonged marination, allowing the chicken to luxuriate hours-long in this flavourful marinade.

Prolonged marination brings out robust flavours for chicken dish that  pairs well with rice, noodles, bread or mashed potatoes.Prolonged marination brings out robust flavours for chicken dish that pairs well with rice, noodles, bread or mashed potatoes.

It is quite easy to mix everything together in the morning, and then roast the wings when needed.

Basting every 10 minutes will even out the dark marinade on the exterior while creating a moist interior for the wings.

Another way to retain moisture is to tuck the chicken wing tips over the drumette into a neat little package that resembles a heart, and you can watch the accompanying video to see how this is done.

Marinate wings in ginger juice, soy sauces, pepper and sugar.Marinate wings in ginger juice, soy sauces, pepper and sugar.

You could place the wings directly on the baking tray, but I prefer to use a rack to raise the meat off the tray.

Then I would fill the tray with water so that the chicken wings roast in a moist environment as the water evaporates.

This dripping can be saved and boiled down into a sauce for use as dressing or gravy.

Honey-glazed chicken wings

Ingredients

500g whole chicken wings

50g fresh ginger, pounded to extract juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp white pepper

½ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp honey

Optional garnish

1 sprig coriander

1 pod red chilli

Method

Pound the ginger with a pestle and mortar into a pulp, then squeeze the juice over a wire sieve into a bowl.

Stir in sugar, pepper, sesame oil and soy sauces until combined, then massage the marinade into the chicken wings and chill for about two to six hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 250°C and fill the bottom of a roasting tray with water.

Roast wings in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip them over, baste with marinade and roast again.Roast wings in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip them over, baste with marinade and roast again.

To keep the chicken moist, tuck the wing tips over the drumettes into little compact heart-shaped packages and arrange them on a baking rack over the roasting tray.

Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip them over and baste with the marinade.

Roast another 10 minutes, then flip and baste again with the remaining marinade.

After basting wings with marinade every 10 minutes, end with a final glaze of honey for five minutes.After basting wings with marinade every 10 minutes, end with a final glaze of honey for five minutes.

Roast another 10 minutes, then brush with honey and roast a final time for five to 10 minutes until caramelised.

Garnish chicken with sliced coriander and finely diced chillies to serve. Can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Save the pan drippings into a saucepan and reduce it into a thick sauce that can be used as a dressing for noodles or as a gravy for mashed potatoes.

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