Salt and Pepper chicken wings is a popular dish at Chinese restaurants that is often ordered in bulk for Asian potluck parties.
Wings are fried to a crunchy golden brown and then tossed in a garlic, red chili, white and black pepper mixture, that makes them flavorful and addicting. Another key ingredient in most restaurant versions is a generous dousing of MSG.
Mr. K and I made our own homemade version this weekend. Because I don’t enjoy ingesting too much MSG, I used a very limited amount, but I also upped the other spices to compensate. The result was quite tasty. Mr. K did the frying and he’s getting better at it. He was really proud at how perfectly golden the wings came out. I won’t get into all the problems he caused in the process of getting ready to fry the wings…but it includes pouring boiling hot water into a plastic bowl, using the salad bowl to defrost the chicken…you get the picture.
While grocery shopping, I came across this salt and pepper mixture, labeled “pepper salt for fried chicken.” It contains a mix of salt, white pepper, black pepper, and msg. I sprinkled a little of this on the wings at the end, giving them an extra bit of flair and keeping the msg dose to just this. If you can’t find this mix, you can just sprinkle white pepper, black pepper, salt and msg separately.
We really enjoyed these wings and they didn’t take very long to make. We’ll have to bring these to the next potluck we attend or make them for Superbowl Sunday.
Salt and Pepper Wings
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/3 cup water
about 22 chicken drummettes
vegetable oil for frying
1 head of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of green scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp red chili flakes
white pepper (add more of this than the other seasonings and make sure not to leave it out. it's key to the addicting flavor)
1. Pour enough vegetable oil into a pot or wok so that it is about 2 inches deep. Heat on medium-high until oil reaches 350F.
2. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and water in a medium-sized bowl until no lumps remain. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towel. Coat chicken in slurry and then place into hot oil.
3. Chicken will be fried twice. Work in small batches, about 6-8 pieces at a time. Fry for 8 minutes. Chicken will be a light golden color. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Set chicken aside to wait for second fry. Continue until all your wings have been fried once for 8 minutes. Then, again working in small batches (though you can increase to about 8-10 pieces per batch since chickens are less likely to stick together now that they have a crunchy batter rather than the wet coating), fry chicken a second time (chicken does not get coated again in the slurry!). Chicken should now be golden and crunchy. Set finished chicken aside. Repeat with remaining chicken until all wings have been fried twice.
4. In a wok, add olive oil. Once oil is hot, add in garlic. Once aroma of garlic comes out, add in chili flakes and scallions and cook a few minutes. Turn off heat and place finished chicken into wok and toss chicken in the garlic mixture. Sprinkle white pepper, black pepper, salt and msg to taste. If you can find it in your Chinese grocery store, you can also use a salt pepper mix designed specifically for fried chicken.