Sweet, sour, spicy, greasy: so good and so so good for you (not). This was my contribution to the neighborhood Super Bowl party. Makes 6-8 appetizer portions using one of the 2.5 pound Tyson bags I found at my supermarket; double the recipe if you expect hungry guests.
2 ½ lbs chicken wings
7-8 cloves garlic, peeled (about ¼ c total)
¼ c fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ c soy sauce (low-sodium if using brine, otherwise regular)
¼ c Gochujang (Korean chile paste)
¼ c white vinegar
3 T sugar
1 ½ T Asian sesame oil (NOT sesame oil from a health food store)
1 ½ c flour
2 T cornstarch
1 ½ c water
Canola, peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying.
Water to cover chicken mixed with ½ c Kosher salt and 2 T sugar per gallon
Method: If brining chicken, dump the pieces from the package right into the brine and let them brine for 3 hours to overnight. Drain and pat dry. (I don’t see any reason not to brine chicken because it makes it more juicy and you’re going to wash it anyway, right?)
Heat oil in deep fat fryer to 350 degrees. Make a batter by whisking cornstarch with a little water till dissolved, then adding the rest of the water, then whisking in flour till all lumps are gone.
Dip a few chicken pieces at a time in batter to coat thoroughly, let the excess drip off, transfer them one at a time to the hot oil and make sure they are not sticking or touching each other. METHOD ONE: fry 7 minutes or until chicken pieces are just beginning to color; remove and drain. After all pieces have had their initial fry, return to the 350 degree oil and fry again 8 minutes until pieces are a deep golden brown, drain. METHOD TWO: deep fry chicken pieces
one time only, for 10 minutes or until a deep golden brown, drain.
Meanwhile, pulverize the garlic and ginger in a mini-chop. Add other ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour over cooked, thoroughly drained chicken and allow to soak in to your preference before serving, 10-30 minutes or longer.
NOTE: This is modified from a widely distributed recipe that appeared in Saveur magazine among other places and wasn’t sweet-and-sour enough for my taste. Method One will produce a very crispy chicken with the sauce as a coating, apparently as presented in a number of NYC chicken places. Method Two is what I am more familiar with from Korean school kids’ events in San Francisco where the chicken is served at room temperature and the sauce has been allowed to soak into the coating.