Wing-ing It

Asian-style chicken wings from a talented Basque chef.

They are sticky, sweet and just a little spicy.

They’re everything you want in a finger-licking good chicken wing.

And would you believe these Asian-influenced wings were created by a Basque chef?

That would be the talented Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade and Bocadillos restaurants, both in San Francisco. With both of his establishments within walking distance of Chinatown, he’ll often head to a nearby Chinese restaurant when he’s craving something different than his own food.

This dish, from his cookbook, “Pintxos” (Ten Speed Press), has become a favorite staff meal with rice at his restaurants.

It couldn’t be easier to make, either. The wings get marinated in a pungent mixture of ginger, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, Vietnamese fish sauce, honey and everyone’s favorite Sriracha. Then, the wings and marinade are cooked in a large saute pan on the stovetop. After about 25 minutes, the chicken will be cooked through and the sauce will have reduced to form a thick glaze.

I served the wings with homemade fried rice for dinner. But they’d also be great for noshing with beer or a nice Riesling while rooting for your favorite team in the Super Bowl.

Just be sure to make plenty, though. Because once you try one, you’ll be coming back for more.

Spicy and Sweet Chicken Wings

(Serves 4 to 6)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)

2 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 pounds (about 24) chicken wings, middle joint only, or chicken “drumsticks”

2 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil

In a bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, Vietnamese fish sauce, chile sauce, and honey until well combined. Add chicken wings and toss to coat well. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add grape seed oil and warm it until it ripples. Add chicken wings and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20  minutes, or until golden and the liquid is beginning to thicken. Increase heat to medium-high and reduce liquid for about 5 minutes, or until it has glazed the wings.

Remove from heat and serve wings hot or at room temperature.

To Drink: With the hot, sweet, tart, and salty food of Asia, fruity, light, crisp, well-balanced sweet wines, such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer, are classic options. A California Riesling produced by Ventana Vineyards in Monterey’s Salinas Valley is both delicious and reasonably priced.

— From “Pintxos” by Gerald Hirigoyen

More From Gerald Hirigoyen: Chicken Thighs with Spicy Basque “Ketchup”

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