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Southeast Asian Chicken Wings

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

Let’s get one thing straight: Buffalo does not have a monopoly on wings. In Thailand, you’ll find them glazed with a sweet chili sauce; in Vietnam, they’re seasoned with lemongrass and fish sauce. Here, several ingredients, including coconut milk, fish sauce, lemongrass, and sweet chili sauce, recreate a bit of that Asian flavor. The look may be unusual, but using a skewer to stretch out your chicken wings increases the amount of exposed skin that can crisp up during cooking, as well as absorb the marinade and smoky flavors from the grill. What’s more, wings on a stick are fun to eat.

  • 3-1/2 lb. large whole chicken wings (12 to 16)
  • 12 to 16 twelve-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tender white core from the bottom third only, coarsely chopped (about 3 Tbs.)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white parts coarsely chopped, green parts thinly sliced (3 to 4 Tbs.)
  • 2 Thai bird chiles or 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (including seeds)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (such as Mae Ploy)

Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels. Thread each wing on a bamboo skewer, starting at the meaty end and ending at the wingtip so that the wing is stretched out as much as possible without ripping the skin. Arrange the wings in a large, shallow dish.

In a blender, purée the coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, scallion whites, chiles, cilantro, fish sauce, ginger, lime juice, and sugar until smooth. Pour the marinade over the wings, turning to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling over medium heat (350°F). When ready to cook, clean the grate with a wire brush and, using tongs, wipe the grate with a paper towel or cloth dipped in oil.

Shake off any excess marinade from the wings and wrap the ends of each skewer with a small piece of aluminum foil to protect them from burning. Grill the wings (covered if using a gas grill), flipping halfway through cooking, until golden-brown on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part of a wing reads 165°F, 16 to 24 minutes total.

Brush the wings on both sides with the sweet chili sauce and grill until the glaze sizzles, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the wings to a platter, sprinkle with the scallion greens, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 520; Fat (g): fat g 31; Fat Calories (kcal): 280; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 41; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 570; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 130; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

easy & tasty, I doubled the marinade

Yummmm! Did not have lemon grass or cilantro so I added cumin and Sriracha and did them under the broiler.

Yummmm! Did not have lemon grass or cilantro so I added cumin and Sriracha and did them under the broiler.

Very Nice! The marinade is perfect ... just the right amount of heat and spice. Stretching out the wings on the skewer really does help in cooking them more evenly. I'll be removing the wing tips and watching the BBQ more closely next time - very easy to burn.

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