Crispy Chicken Wings / by Cynthia Raub

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Small chicken wings are 33% meat, 33% skin and 33% bone - the best part being the skin. When chicken skin is rendered down from it’s pale, dotted and limp original state, it transforms into a golden and crunchy treat from the heavens. If you are #blessed enough, the fat from the skin might pool at the bottom of your baking pan to produce schmaltz. (Have you ever dipped a bland and dry veggie sandwich in warm schmaltz to make it palatable? I have, and it was glorious.) Chicken wings are a crowd pleaser and can be enjoyed hot and cold, which is why I thought they’d be a wonderful accompaniment to the Soba Noodle Salad with Ginger Scallion Sauce. The lacquered and addictive sweet and salty glaze was especially popular with the kids who loved nibbling off of the chicken bone. 

Notes: The chicken wings I bought were smaller than what I normally encounter at the store. But because of my love of chicken skin (see above) this didn’t bother me. The size of your chicken wings will change the amount of time you bake them. The meat on my small chicken wings were a little dry but the skin was incredibly crisp and was not compromised and didn’t get soggy when dressed with the glaze. This was worthwhile to me, but your mileage may vary.

Yield: About 50 wings
Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ginger-soy glaze:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 2 x 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
Red pepper flakes (optional)

5 pounds chicken wings (tips removed, drumettes and flats separated - sometimes you can find "party wings" where this has already been done for you)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For ginger-soy glaze:
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve honey. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup, 7–8 minutes. Strain into a small bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired and squeeze 1 teaspoon of lime juice into sauce, mix and reserve.

For wings:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide wings between prepared racks and spread out in a single layer. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes.

Line another rimmed baking sheet with foil; top with a wire rack. Add wings to ginger-soy glaze and toss to evenly coat. Place wings in a single layer on prepared rack and bake until glaze is glossy and lightly caramelized, 4–6 minutes. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds if desired.

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