Wings should be judged not by how saucy or spicy they are, or how quickly they go, but rather by what it takes to clean up after eating. A stack of napkins would suggest good wings. But great wings should necessitate two or three lemon-scented moist towelettes.
From Andrew Zimmern, whose indomitable palate was behind Bizarre Foods, comes a recipe for what very well may be perfect wings. Published in the newly released MUNCHIES cookbook, they’re sweet, sticky, a little spicy — and deceptively easy to make, ready in less than 30 minutes and requiring just one sauce pot for cooking.
One-Pot Sticky Chicken Wings
3 pounds chicken wings, split, tips removed
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 dried chiles de árbol
2 whole star anise
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/3 cup sake
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons sugar
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges (for serving)
1. In a large, dry Dutch oven or nonstick saucepan, cooking in batches if needed, brown the chicken wings on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add ginger, chiles, star anise and cinnamon to the pot. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sake, soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, sugar and 1/3 water. Increase the heat and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium high and simmer vigorously, stirring and tossing occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze that coats the wings, about 8 minutes.
3. Transfer the chicken wings to a platter and scatter scallions on top. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Looking for more great food and beer to enjoy at this year’s Super Bowl? Check out our roundup of some of the Best Super Bowl Food Ideas