“Americans are a wing-loving people,” and yet we don’t always give chicken wings the treatment they deserve, said Mark Bittman in The New York Times. The skin will only crisp once the fat has been rendered away, and a grill performs that two-step process far better than a deep fryer. The recipe below uses an Asian-style sauce that’s best applied by basting. With most sauces, you can simply coat the wings before returning them to the grill for crisping.
- 3 lbs chicken wings
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 whole, fresh, hot red chiles (like Thai chiles)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- freshly ground black pepper
Cut wings into three sections and toss with a little neutral oil to keep them from sticking on the grill. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until moderately hot, with the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Leave one side of the grill cooler for indirect cooking. Place the wings on the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook, turning wings once or twice, until most of the fat has been rendered and the wings are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the wings cook, combine fish sauce, sugar, chiles, garlic, and black pepper. Whisk to incorporate the sugar. Put the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it thickens into a thin syrup (essentially a fish-sauce caramel). When the wings are cooked, move them to the hot part of the grill and cook, uncovered, turning as necessary and basting with the caramel until they’re nicely browned on both sides.
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