I struggle with creating content that consists of easy 30 minute meals versus things that I actually want to eat. I think it’s pretty clear what usually wins. That is not to say everything I share on here is complicated because it’s not but may require a trip outside of your comfort zone. For example, these Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings.
These wings are inspired by the salt and pepper shrimp, squid or even tofu at your favorite Chinese restaurant. I love the crispy coating and the burst of flavor from the sprinkle of salt and pepper on the outside. Seeing how I am a chicken wing fanatic, I thought those same flavors would be amazing on chicken wings. I was right.
There are three ingredients used in this recipe that may be a little foreign to you, Shaoxing wine, potato starch, and Sichuan Pepper. Shaoxing wine is a traditional Chinese rice cooking wine. It is only used for cooking (never drinking) and adds depth and complexity. If you ever want to make traditional Chinese dumplings from scratch or delicious stir fry it’s worth picking up. If you can’t find it or don’t want to bother, leave it out, I won’t be mad at you. The coating is really what makes this chicken delicious. That brings me to the potato starch. To make this recipe was the first time I used potato starch and was mind blown! This provides so much more of a crispier crust than plain old flour! Finally, Sichuan Pepper Powder, which is not actually a pepper at all but a spice. It is a fragrant spice, somewhat floral flavor and has a numbing quality. Which may sound like an odd description, but the flavor is like nothing else. It is also one of the ingredients in Chinese five spice powder.
- 3 lbs Chicken Wings, drumettes and flats
- ½ cup Shaoxing
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp ground Sichuan pepper
- ½ cup potato starch
- 5 spring onions finely chopped, whites and greens separated
- 3 tbsp, finely chopped garlic
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 small handful of cilantro, leaves and some stems okay
- peanut oil or neutral flavored oil, for frying
- Place chicken wings in a gallon freezer bag, or large bowl with a lid. Add the Shaoxing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Toss together kosher salt and Sichuan pepper powder. Set aside
- minutes before frying the chicken, remove the chicken from the Shaoxing and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tsp of the salt and Sichuan mix to the chicken wings. Toss to coat.
- Fill a 6-quart dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot with peanut oil, about 2 inches deep. Preheat the oil to 375°.
- Sprinkle the potato starch in the bowl with the chicken and toss to coat.
- When oil reaches temp, add about 6 to 7 wings and fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the oil and place on a cooling rack that is on top of a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in a warm oven (190°). Finish frying all of the chicken and place each batch in the oven to keep them warm.
- Once you are finished frying all the chicken, place the wings in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet with 2 tbsp of peanut oil over medium heat. Add the scallion whites, garlic and jalapenos. Saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the heat and stir to combine. Sprinkle the chicken wings with the salt and Sichuan pepper and toss. Finally add the cooked onion and jalapeno mixture, scallion greens and cilantro. Toss well to combine. Serve hot.
More chicken recipes here