I’m just gonna level with ya here. I had very different ideas about how these wings were going to turn out. Very different. But things don’t always turn out like we’ve planned, right??
First off, they’re delicious. Like super delicious! Now.
I would LOVE to tell you that when I’m developing recipes everything always turns out perfect the first time. But that’d be a lie.
Let me start by offering a little insight into my recipe development process…
Ideas for recipes come from everywhere: friends, family, other blogs, cookbooks, the grocery store, restaurants, etc. Ideas are then worked out on paper to look at ingredients, cost, how easy they are to make. Then I get in the kitchen and work. Once I get the recipe to a place I’m happy with it, I’ll cook it 2 to 3 more times swapping out other brands of ingredients, just to make sure it all works. Then I’ll photograph it and get the post written. The glamorous life of a food blogger, right!?!?
So let’s talk about these wings.
There’s this great local spot that makes these AMAZING wings with the most delicious sticky Asian sauce. When I inquired about what was in them, the only thing they would tell me was hoisin sauce. I thought, “No biggie, I bet I can figure this out.” So I got in the kitchen and went to work.
I had also recently come across several recipes that offered up a unique ingredient that promised it would give you perfectly crispy wings IN THE OVEN! Yep, you could make chicken wings in the oven that would have delicious, crispy skin. Seeing several other folks mention this method, I decided it would be great to incorporate that method in this recipe to make them a bit healthier. I was stoked!
But they were awful. So I figured I had done something wrong. So I pulled up a few other blogs and sites that used the same method to ensure I had the technique down pat. And they were awful, too. To their credit, the skin was crispier than if I had not used that secret ingredient and just thrown the wings in the oven, but I discovered I just don’t like the flavor of baked wings. I’m just not sure what it is, but it’s just not an enjoyable flavor for me.
So I went back and reworked the recipe to fry the wings in a more traditional fashion and they turned out amazing.
So here’s the thing…
In this version, the wings are fried. Because sometimes we just want food to taste good – regardless of the calorie count. Should we eat like that every day? Of course not. Is it ok to splurge and enjoy things just because they’re delicious? I say, “Absolutely!”
Now, can you bake these wings and still use this sauce to coat them? If you don’t mind the flavor of baked wings, of course you can! It works perfectly. I’m just not going to share food with y’all I wouldn’t eat. So I’m sharing them using a method where I know they’ll taste amazing. Y’all enjoy!
Asian Sticky Wings
- 4 pounds chicken wing sections - drummettes and flats
- 4 teaspoons salt
- vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Asian garlic chili sauce* (or more for more heat)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired
- Toss the wings with the salt and spread them on a sheet pan with a wire rack over it. Place the pan with the wings in the refigerator uncovered for at least 2 hours, but prefereably overnight to allow the skin on the wings to dry out a little. This will result in crispier wings. (This step is not required, but does produce a better end product.)
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook 1 minute then add the hoisin sauce, asian garlic chili sauce, and ginger. Mix well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When ready to fry, use a deep fryer or add enough oil to a deep dutch oven and heat the oil to 350° F. Fry the wings in batches for 8 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Drain the wings on a wire rack over paper towels.
- Add the wings and sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seed, if desired. Serve immediately.
We made wings 2 ways and of course your recipe won !! They were easy to cook and lots of flavor .
Ha! So glad to hear you enjoyed them!
We make wings quite often in our house and we were looking for a new sauce as a variation to our normal buffalo wings. The only change I made was I added a couple of glugs of fish sauce and sesame oil. We loved the sauce! Sweet and sticky without a ton of sugar! Next time I will add either Sriracha or Gochujang for a bit more heat. They were delicious!
So glad you enjoyed them! Love the gochujang idea!!
The secret ingredient I use for crispy skin, toss your wings in a generous amount of cornstarch !
Commonly used in Asian cooking, it dries the skin out and creates crisp texture with no gummy flour feel.
Thanks for the tip, Sandy!
These look delicious! I just wanted to add that I make our wings in the air fryer now. They are so quick and delicious and crisp right up! I tell everyone an air fryer is worth it for the wings and steaks alone!
That’s a great idea!!
At the end of the first instruction you state… (This step is not required, but doesn’t produce a better end product.)
Is this a misprint because if it doesn’t improve the end product, why do it or why mention it at all.
Regardless, it sounds great and I can’t wait to try it!
I noticed that too, but pretty sure it is just a typo, and that he meant it does produce a better end product. Right, Stacy?
That’s correct. It was just a simple typo. Sorry for the confusion.
I’m guessing the ‘secret” ingredient was baking powder, right? I haven’t tried it, nor have I tried to make my own wings at home, I’m just kinda not ok with it…kinda like fried chicken.. better to save the messy stuff for the restaurant deep fryer 🙂 love your posts, btw , and the videos are cute too!
Thanks, Christy! And yes, baking powder is the ingredient that’s supposed to make the skin crispier. And I totally agree. I often leave the frying to someone else just because of the cleanup! 🙂
Stacey, I just love this post! Not just for the delicious looking recipe but for your honesty. I really appreciate your method here and what it took to get this to your satisfaction. You are so right, once in awhile to cook like this is a-okay in my book if what you’re going for is something spectacular versus not enjoying a dish to the fullest because it’s not “healthy” enough. 🙂
Thanks, Aileen! I always enjoy your positive comments!