Now that I've tried a couple of Chef Michael Symon's recipes, I have been on the lookout for more. I'm on the waiting list at the library for his cookbook, and I'm trying to be patient about it...But I had "The Chew" on the other day, and I noticed Clinton (the guy on "What Not to Wear") could not keep his hands off the chicken wings that the group was sampling. I actually missed that part of the program where Chef Symon cooked the recipe, but I gather that it was HIS wings that drove Clinton into such a feeding frenzy, and I thought: "Whoa! Gotta try me some of those!"
|Crispy Lime and Cilantro Chicken Wings with Sriracha|
A little research on The Chew website took me to Chef Symon's recipe, and so today, I'm going to give you a glimpse of what I cooked up using it, and some feedback on what I'll do differently next time.
I bought my very first bottle of Sriracha (it's a hot sauce) for this recipe, and I'm pretty excited about it. It's not just hot. There is a smokiness and a depth of flavor behind the heat that is tasty. The first thing that hit my palate was the heat, but if you hang in there, after the heat fades, there's more to taste beyond the heat, and that "more" is really nice. I think I'll be using it (albeit cautiously) in more recipes in the future. I found it in the Asian foods section of my grocery store, although it's made in California, and it has a rooster on the bottle. Hope that helps.
HINTS and VARIATIONS:
- I had no duck fat, which is what the original recipe called for: 4 cups of duck fat. But, I know that peanut oil has one of the highest smoking temperatures, so I did purchase a big bottle of peanut oil to fry these in. That worked out well for me, and if I want to fry chicken wings again, I'd use peanut oil happily. However, if you happen to HAVE access to duck fat, Chef Symon says he likes to use the animal fat of the animal (or the cousin of the animal) that he is cooking when he cooks it. So, I guess the duck is the poultry cousin of the chicken, and hence, was his fat of choice.
- As I have said on this blog repeatedly, we are weenies when it comes to spicy foods. We are growing in our ability to tolerate more heat, but I was too optimistic, and made his hot sauce recipe as written. IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER AGAIN, I WOULD CUT THE SRIRACHA SAUCE IN HALF. Or pour half as much over the wings, and let people dip their wings in the sauce they put on their plates. I'm going to give you his recipe for sauce as he wrote it, so you know for sure that the quantities of the various ingredients are in balance, but know that next time I make this recipe, I'll be halving the amount of sriracha. (You have been warned.)
- His recipe called for thinly sliced jalapeños to be sprinkled over the wings at the end. I omitted the jalapeños. Frankly, I don't know how the man has any taste buds left in his head that have not been incinerated. But CLEARLY he has some of the world's most awesome taste buds, if the food he puts out is any indicator. So jalapeñocize this recipe at your own risk. Lime slices are another accompaniment that Chef Symon serves with the wings, and although we didn't need them, I can see where they would enhance the recipe.
- Use the smoked paprika that the recipe calls for! Don't be tempted to substitute regular paprika. Go out and find the smoked stuff and buy it. The flavor smoked paprika gives is WONDERFUL. So worth it.
- Keep your eye on the oil temperature! For me it was kinda like Goldilocks and her issues with the Three Bears' porridge. My oil got a little too hot when I was frying the first batch, so I adjusted the temperature downward, and then it dropped a LOT when I put in the second batch of wings, and so they didn't fry as quickly, which causes fried food to take on more grease. So be sure to not overcompensate with the temperature dial like I did. Still, they turned out great!
Crispy Lime and Cilantro Chicken Wings with Sriracha
3 lb. chicken wings
4 c. peanut oil (you can use duck fat if you have it)
1/2 c. cilantro leaves, chopped
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. sugar
1 T. smoked paprika
2 limes, juiced
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. Sriracha
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. honey
3 T. butter
zest of 1 lime
1/2 t. salt
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and add the chicken wings. Toss and coat the wings, and then dump them in a ziplock bag and place them in the fridge to marinate for 1-2 hours.
Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven. Use a deep frying thermometer to monitor the temperature. The oil will be ready to fry in when it reaches a temperature of 360º.
While the oil is heating, preheat the oven to 350º. After the wings have finished marinating for a couple of hours, spread them out on a baking tray, along with any liquid from the marinade, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until just about cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
While the wings are in the oven, assemble the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Whisk occasionally until the butter has melted, and then taste and season with salt or more honey if desired. (This is where I'll be trying HALF as much sriracha sauce next time!) Set aside until ready to use.
When your fat has reached 360º, add the wings, deep frying until golden brown and crispy. Remove them onto some paper towels, and season them with salt. Place them in a bowl, and pour some of the sauce over top, mixing to coat all wings evenly. Sprinkle with cilantro and toss one more time.
|The coolness of the carrot and celery sticks, with the creaminess of the blue cheese dressing really helped cut the heat, when we'd had too much.|
These were my daughter's and my husband's very favorite wings that I have ever made, even though we all sat around wiping our eyes and noses while we were eating them. My son, bless his heart, missed out because he was out galavanting. Maybe next time, kid.
I'd love some suggestions! How do YOU use sriracha sauce?
As always, if you love the look or sound of this recipe, feel free to pin it or share it.