Chongqing Chicken Wings
One of my favorite dishes of 2013 was the Chongqing Chicken Wings by Danny Bowien, served at his Mission Chinese Food restaurants.
Life is full of coincidences. Shortly after my visit to Mission Chinese Food and before I had a chance to blog about it, reader Lorri emailed me her favorite fried chicken wings recipe that she thought I might want to try. And lo and behold, it was Danny Bowien’s recipe!
After finally getting my hands on some sichuan peppercorns, Mr. K and I tried to make the recipe. Of course, I didn’t thoroughly reach the instructions before beginning and realized too late that Chef Bowien’s key to his extra crunchy wings involves a cooking process where he freezes the wings after they are cooked before putting them in the fryer. Well we were already anticipating wings and didn’t have the patience to wait for the wings to freeze solid, so for the frying part, we did the double fry technique I’ve been using in recipes like my recent Salt and Pepper wings.
The spice mix is pretty easy to put together and you just dust them on the wings.
Don’t let the mound of chili peppers scare you off. The wings are spicy but not unbearably so. The Sichuan peppercorns is the key as it creates a tingling numbing sensation on your mouth. The peppercorns I had were a little weak. I’ll have to shop around for better ones next time. The worst part about all the peppers was the cooking. Just opening up the packages made my eyes water.
These came out pretty good though. The perfect football game viewing food. I’ll have to try them again with the other frying technique if I can garner enough patience.
- 12 chicken wings
- peanut oil for frying
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cayenne
- 1 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp ground fennel
- 1 1/2 tsp ground star anise
- 10 whole dried red chilies
- chopped scallion
- sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat the chicken wings dry and place them on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are barely baked through (they will be very pale). Cool the wings to room temperature and then transfer them to the freezer.
Once your wings are frozen solid, heat the oil in a pot until it reaches 350°F. While you wait for the oil to heat, mix all of the ingredients for the spice mix together in a bowl.
Once the oil is at temperature, fry the wings in small batches for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are browned and crispy. Drain the wings on paper towels and then place them in a large bowl. Toss the wings with the spice mix until they are evenly coated.
To garnish, first fry the chilies for 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer the chilies to the bowl with the wings and toss them with the spice mix. Transfer the chilies and wings to a serving plate and top with the chopped scallion and sesame seeds.
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Recipe source: Mission Chinese Food