While I am a HUGE fan of Buffalo Wings, I’ve found that over time my taste for wings has evolved to favor sauces a little more multi-dimensional (and not scorchingly hot) in nature. The base for this sauce is a slight twist on Ming Tsai’s Black Pepper-Garlic Sauce, which he serves with a fabulous lobster dish at his restaurant “Blue Ginger”. Ever since I tried that amazing meal, I’ve been twisting his sauce to and fro to satisfy the requirements of a number of different culinary whims. I modify it to use as a wing sauce by adding an herbal note with fresh thyme, and of course, some blue cheese! The nam pla and blue cheese add a salty tang, the garlic, a pungent bite, the black pepper a mellow, slow burn, and the butter smooths it all just enough to let you enjoy the bold flavors without forcing you to reach for a fire extinguisher.
chicken wings, cut at the joint, tips removed and reserved for another purpose.
canola oil ?
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
scallions, white and green parts only, finely chopped?
(heaping) coarsley-ground black pepper
dry white wine
low-sodium canned chicken broth
fish sauce (nam pla)
(1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
crumbled blue cheese
finely minced fresh thyme
canola or corn oil for frying
In This Recipe
Heat large sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and black pepper, and stir. Add the wine, stock, fish sauce, and lemon juice and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and let cool about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high speed to purée. With the blender running, add the butter one piece at a time to form a creamy sauce.
Take 1 cup of the garlic pepper sauce and place it in a bowl. Whisk in the blue cheese and minced thyme, taste for seasoning and add salt if desired, set aside. Reserve the rest of the sauce, refrigerated for a later use.
Preheat oven to 350 ?
Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
In large sauce pot or fryer, heat 3-inches of the canola or corn oil, or enough to prevent wings from touching the bottom of the pan, to 375 ?. Add the baked chicken wings to the oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Remove the chicken wings from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Add the wings to the bowl of sauce and toss well to coat. Dump the whole mess onto a platter, or better yet, gather around the bowl and dig in!