Author Notes: I've never understood why chicken wings have to be fried, when they are wrapped in a layer of skin that will broil into crispy perfection in the oven without all the fuss. Then drenched in this Thai-style red curry sauce which will make you say, "buffa-what-lo?". —Mandy @ Lady and pups
Makes: 16 ~ 20 hot wings
mid-section ONLY chicken wings
tablespoons Thai-style panang, or red curry paste
tablespoons (40 grams) of unsalted butter
cup coconut milk
teaspoon tabasco sauce
teaspoons fish sauce, depending on the saltiness of curry paste
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
lime for squeezing
- NOTE: Good quality Southeastern curry paste is very important. I’m using “panang” curry paste but by all means, red curry paste would work wonderfully as well. Nowadays I can easily find packaged curry pastes of all sorts in a lot of supermarket (or amazon).
- PREPARE THE WINGS: Wash the wings really clean under cold water. Use a paring knife and split the two connecting bones in the wings on the back side (the side with a much thinner skin). This step will do 3 things: 1). It allows the skin and muscle to contract when they’re cooking resulting in a much firmer texture in both the meat and the skin. 2). No need to flip the wings to the other side anymore (saves a lot of work), because the under-layer-skin will “shrink and contract” to the top layer and by the time it gets crispy, the meat underneath would be fully cooked. 3). It will be really appreciated when it comes to the eating part.
- Lay the wings out skin-side up on a baking rack, with a baking sheet underneath to catch the dripping. IMPORTANT: scatter a few pieces of celery stalks underneath to avoid the grease getting too hot and smoking up. Use a paper towel to dab the skins to soak up any excess moisture and let them air-dry, uncovered, for 30 min.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a sauce pot, then add the curry paste and stir fry until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce and a few turns of black pepper. The proportion of fish sauce (for saltiness) and sugar (for sweetness) is what I did for the panang curry paste, but adjust the seasoning based on the curry paste you are using. Let the mixture simmer and reduce by 60% until thick and saucy.
- COOK THE WINGS: Preheat the top broiler on medium high (475ºC/240ºC), then put the baking sheet on the second highest level, leaving 3 ~ 4? space between the heat and the wings (remember the celery stalks underneath…). Rotate the positions of the wings periodically if your oven is known to heat unevenly. Let the skin crisp up, about 15 ~ 20 min. There’s no need to turn them. When they come out of the oven, spoon the curry hot sauce over the wings and toss. ONLY use enough sauce to lightly coat the wings (may have extra sauce left), and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Eat when they are hot. It’s gonna be messy and dirty. It’s gonna be awesome.