Make Ahead

Garlic, Black Pepper and Blue Cheese Wings

September 20, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

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.
Oui, Chef

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, cut at the joint, tips removed and reserved for another purpose.
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil ?
  • 25 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup scallions, white and green parts only, finely chopped?
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) coarsley-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme
  • canola or corn oil for frying
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 ?
  5. Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
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I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin. About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.

9 Reviews

Oui, C. September 21, 2010
Cool....I'll save you a space at the trough.
Kitchen B. September 21, 2010
LOVEEEEEEEEE the oval board and the arrangement of the ingredients!
Oui, C. September 21, 2010
Thanks, I must say that I felt like I was channelling Sarah Schatz when I took this one. ;-)
halfasiangirl September 21, 2010
I love fish sauce and blue cheese but I've never thought to combine the two. sounds intriguing! I'm also interested to hear your rationale for baking *and* frying. is it to be able to make these ahead of time without sacrificing a crisp exterior?
Oui, C. September 21, 2010
Yes, that's basically the reason. I really like my wings crispy, hence the finish in the fryer, and by baking a ton of them ahead of time, you can fry smaller batches to order so that you always have piping hot, crunchy wings to feed the anxious horde. Frying without baking first would take 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the wings, whereas finishing them in the oil takes just 2-3. - S
gingerroot September 20, 2010
YUM...When I lived in Boston I had the opportunity to dine at Blue Ginger a few times and had amazing dining experiences. I recently made this sauce in its original form and I can only imagine how delicious your version with the thyme and blue cheese must be!
Oui, C. September 21, 2010
You're right, the base sauce alone is amazing, and I love that it is so adaptable to various uses. - S
thirschfeld September 20, 2010
I'm in for a couple dozen.
Oui, C. September 21, 2010
Cool....I'll save you a space at the trough.