Sweet Asian Baked “Fried” Chicken Wings

My little toddler is obsessed with roast chicken – I end up making it for her at least twice a week. I’m building up the courage to try new ways to make chicken without turning the oven on, but I’ve been stuck on finding a recipe I think she’ll like. I don’t think she’ll be a  fan of chicken in the slow cooker (too watery) and she hasn’t really been a fan of grilled chicken. I looked at a couple recipes that called for using the dutch oven, but haven’t been 100% sold on any particular recipe just yet. If you have a stove top recipe you swear by, please pass it along!

In an effort to break up the roast chicken madness, I’ve been making these baked “fried” chicken wings. She likes them, but doesn’t eat nearly as much as when she’s eating roast chicken. My husband has been perfectly content with either option. (Really, I think he’s just happy when meat is the main course versus a salad – something I try to do at least twice a week.) I, on the other hand, have become so sick of chicken wings. There have been times where I just skip dinner all together which is never a good thing. I end up snacking later that evening or super hungry the following morning.

I’ve been on this Asian kick lately and remembered this honey and soy marinated chicken recipe I made and really liked a couple times pre-baby. My daughter wasn’t a fan of anything with soy sauce when she first started eating (weird for a half-Asian baby, right??), so I stopped cooking almost everything that required it. Of course, now that I wanted to try it again, I couldn’t find the recipe. I searched really hard for it, too. 😦

During my search, I stumbled across this one from Epicurious which seemed promising and more importantly, I already had all the ingredients! So, I gave it a try. After reading the reviews, I ended up adding black pepper and more garlic. I also omitted the salt – I think soy sauce is salty enough. Finally, I substituted a tablespoon of gochujang, this ridiculously flavorful Korean red chili paste, for the pinch of cayenne the recipe called for. I didn’t think a pinch of cayenne would bring enough heat or come thru with all the other strong flavors.

I really liked how the the wings came out, however, I think I would have enjoyed them a bit sweeter. So next time, I’ll plan to add another tablespoon or two of honey. I also felt like something was missing, one ingredient that would’ve taken these wings from really good to amazing. I’m just not sure what that looks like yet.

I also ended up using only 2lbs of chicken wings vs the 3lbs the recipe called for and found I had just enough sauce to cover the 2lbs. If you’re making more than 2lbs, I would definitely recommend scaling the recipe up accordingly.

As for baking, I baked these wings at 375ºF which is where I cook my baked “fried” wings and I think that might have been too low for this recipe. They definitely didn’t crisp up as well as I would have preferred. (My oven tends to burn when I cook at the required temp. So to offset, I usually take temperatures down 25-50ºF.) I would recommend baking at 400ºF and obviously, keep an eye on them.

Overall, these were really great wings and a perfect starting point for personalizing to your own tastes.

Ingredients

  • 4 large garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp mild honey
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp Asian sesame oil
  • black pepper
  • 2lb chicken wingettes or chicken wings (see notes below)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • scallion (green part only), finely chopped

Directions

  • Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F
  • Line a large shallow baking pan (17 by 12 inches) with foil and lightly oil foil
  • Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife
  • Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and add soy sauce, hoisin, honey, oil, and gochujang; whisk well
  • Add wingettes to sauce, tossing to coat.
  • Arrange wingettes in 1 layer in baking pan
  • Season with black pepper
  • Roast, turning over once, until cooked through (approximately 40 minutes)
  • Transfer wingettes to a large serving bowl and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.

They look pretty amazing all dressed up with the sesame seeds and scallions, right??!

IMG_5272

 

Notes

If using chicken wings instead of wingettes, cut off and discard tips from chicken wings with kitchen shears or a large heavy knife, then halve wings at joint.

 

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