Not just another wings appetizer recipe. These Asian Jerk Chicken Wings are primetime party ready or are for pure selfish enjoyment.
I like wings. I especially like them during NCAA March Madness. These jerk sticky wings are a staple and the first of a few different ones I'll feature here as Madness options. Trust me if your brackets are busted these wings will make you forget. Before I go any further, let me say wings are another one of those food categories where I get the top seed for snobbery. It's rare that I order wings in a restaurant or any wings focused quick service restaurants. There are a few restaurants that have excellent wings, but by and large there is a lot of sameness. I need another heavily breaded buffalo or teriyaki wing like I need a hole in my head.
Chicken Drumettes or Flats?
My ideal wings have a tender, juicy interior surrounded with a well seasoned crusty exterior. There should be some crunch at first bite. I lean more towards dry wings, but wet wings work just as well if done right. I also prefer drumettes to "flats"; one bone is perfect for me as I don't possess the prowess to get the meat between the two bones, plus I don't find it all that worthwhile given the spongie fat that comes along with it. This goes back to the texture thing, that fatty soft skin is just wrong so I try to avoid them when I can. Drumettes rule!
Since texture is important to me, I've spent a fair amount of time trying to execute the proper technique for fried chicken wings. This Asian Jerk chicken wings recipe may seem a bit involved, but trust the process and you will be glad you did. The texture is there, and the complexity of flavor in the sauce is crazy sexy cool! More importantly, it's not so wet that it turns the wings from crispy goodness to a soggy mess.
Can I Cook These Wings without Flour?
For the real crispy chicken drumettes, I exclude any type of breading and batter, relying solely on the chicken skin to provide that crunch. Tight, blistered skin is so much better from a texture and flavor standpoint.
Should I brine or use any marinade?
Brining the wings first is an important step. We want to maximize flavor throughout the entire wing from the outer skin down to the bone. Brining aids in two ways from a flavor perspective. First, it ensures flavor penetrates down to the bone. Secondly, the sugar in the brine helps with the browning of the wings during cooking.
Asian Jerk Chicken Wings: Key Tips
- Steam the drumettes before frying them. Steaming renders the fat so that the skin can become crispy, not soggy. This a tip I picked up from Chef David Chang. I find that this way I don't have to fry them as long, which means I can get that crispy texture without overcooking. Double frying accomplishes the same thing as far as rendering the fat first. Yeah, I'm not a fan of dried-out chicken, even if its just wings. Like never!
- Pat dry wings with paper towels and refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour but overnight preferably. Both help eliminate surface moisture and will enable maximum crispiness of the skin
- Don't overcrowd the fryer/frying pan. Leave the drumettes some room to move around a bit. Too many in the fryer at one time will lower the oil's temperature and prevent that good crispiness
- Once you remove the wings from the fryer, drain them on paper towels or a cooling rack.
- In between fryings let the oil heat back up to 375° before frying more wings. Low temps equally extra oily chickens. Oily chicken is not crispy
- All oils aren't equal! Choose an oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point. Vegetable oil is probably the most economical. Peanut oil is great, but costs a little more. Avoid olive oil at all costs. If you're re-using oil it's a good idea to filter/strain it first to get rid of any dirty flavor. Dirty burnt tasting oil = dirty burnt tasting sticky wings
MORE JERK BASED RECIPES
Making Asian Jerk Sticky Wings
Enjoy these Asian Jerk Chicken Wings with a nice bottle of Ginger Beer or Ting! If you make them please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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For another fried chicken wings recipe try these Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings.
Fried Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs small chicken drumettes
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Cooking Oil Peanut or Canola
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
- 1 chile habanero, serrano, jalapeno, or bird[s eye depending on preferred heat level, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup tamari gluten free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon store bought jerk spices or make your own using the following: all spice dried thyme, dried parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion powder, salt, pepper
Make the Chicken
- Combine chicken, buttermilk, and basil in a large ziplock bag. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.
- Set-up steamer on the stove and add enough but not so much that the water touches the chicken when you add the insert.
- Drain the chicken and rinse the buttermilk brine off.
- Turn the heat on to medium. After about 5 minutes add the chicken and then cover with the lid leaving it just slightly ajar. Stem the chicken for 20-25 minutes then remove and allow to cool. Chill the wings in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
- When ready to fry, remove chicken from fridge and allow to reach room temperature.
- Prepare deep fryer or skillet for frying. Fry the chicken at 375 degrees F until skin is brown and crisp, 5-6 minutes.
- Remove and drain on a paper lined plate or wired baking rack.
- Put the chicken in a large bowl and toss in the vinaigrette.
- Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley
Make the Vinaigrette
- Mix all ingredients in a mix bowl. Keep refrigerated in a jar until ready for usage.