What could be better than crispy chicken wings coated in a sticky and delicious hoisin glaze, and served with a refreshing side of lightly-pickled cucumber? Not much, I can tell you! This simple chicken wings recipe is a winner and one we’ll be making again and again!
The recipe is from Wings and Things by Ben Ford and David Turofsky, a great collection of recipes from the duo behind the Wingmans restaurants.
For more about the book, do read our full review of Wings and Things. You’ll also find two more great recipes from the book.
Hoisin Buff Ting | Hoisin-Glazed Fried Chicken Wings
- 1.25 kg (2lb 12oz) chicken wings, tip removed, drums and flat separated
- 2 tsp celery salt
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) buttermilk
- 250 g (2½ cups) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 50 g (⅓ cup) rice flour
- 2-3 litres (3qt) vegetable or rapeseed (canola) oil, for cooking
- 1 garlic clove
- Hazelnut-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
- 50 ml (¼ cup) sesame oil
- 250 g (1 cup) hoisin sauce
- 150 g (¾ cup) sweet chilli sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 star anise
- ½ cinnamon stick
- ½ cucumber,cut into ribbons
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1½ Tbsp caster (granulated) sugar
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- ½ bunch of spring onions (scallions), green tops only, finely shredded
- 2 wonton wrappers, shredded and deep-fried (optional)
In a large bowl combine the wings with the dry spices and the buttermilk. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Combine the two flours and set aside. Drain the wings from the excess marinade and toss through the flour – keep chilled until ready to cook.
Chop the garlic and ginger together to make a paste – you can use a mini blender for this or a pestle and mortar, if you prefer. Add the paste to a cold saucepan with the sesame oil and cook over a low heat until the garlic is cooked. Add the hoisin, sweet chilli, sugar, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon and 100ml (scant ½ cup) water. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Meanwhile, for the garnish, put the cucumber ribbons, vinegar, sugar and poppy seeds in a bowl, refrigerate and leave to pickle for about 20 minutes.
Preheat a deep fryer to 180°C (350ºF). Place the wings in the basket and lower slowly into the fryer. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes ensuring they hit 75°C (170ºF) at the core of the thickest part of the wing and the juices run clear. If they don’t hit 75°C (170ºF) after the first 8 minutes just carry on cooking for a further minute.
Toss the wings in the sticky glaze and stack them high on a plate. Arrange the spring onions on top with the crispy wontons, if using, and serve the cucumber alongside.
As we didn’t have chicken wings to hand but had thighs in the freezer, we adapted the recipe by cutting each thigh into three or four pieces, about the size of a small chicken wing. These worked incredibly well as substitutes for the wings with the meat staying juicy and moist during frying, and the marinade and flour creating a great layer of crunch on the surface. Tossed in the sticky glaze, these were fabulous!
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wings and Things by Ben Ford and David Turofsky from publisher Quadrille. Book photography is by Dan Jones.