I have been on the hunt for the perfect home-made wings for some time now, easily 4-5 years. Past explorations have yielded textureless meat, sticky blackened sugars, and overpowering sauces. Until now! A little help from Alton Brown's wing steaming technique really improved the quality of these bad boys. The veil has been lifted, and the results are in. These are the best damn wings ever. The end.
Spicy Lavender Pineapple Wings
with cumin spiced wing sauce, topped with dried cilantro
Servings: 1 dozen
12 whole chicken wings
3 oz unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried lavender
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more, to taste
1 teaspood cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 cup diced pineapple
Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint.
Add together salt, lavender thyme and paprika and coat raw chicken.
Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes.
Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Leave wings on cooling rack so they are not laying in the fat dripping off of them.
Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat along with the garlic and roast for 1 minute. add Hoisin, soy sauce, chili paste, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and pineapple. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 5-7 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken.
Pour this along with a pinch of sea salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce.
Sprinkle with dried cilantro
A few notes:
If you don't have the ability to steam the wings you can back them on a baking sheet, they just wont get a perfectly crispy skin.
Do not add sauce to wings and put in oven, this will result in very sticky wings.