Tue Sep 10, 2013
I'm a bit obsessed with with cooking with fire. I should be pretty content having four grills and two smokers now, but there's a gap in my coal cooking that I long for—a pizza oven. I've always told the wife that if we ever own our own house, I'm building a true brick oven out back, which translates to another reason to put off home ownership to her. So it should come as no surprise that I've followed the development of the KettlePizza pretty closely, and it seemed as if this grill to pizza oven conversion kit had finally reached a point where it may placate my need for an additional cooker. I was so thrilled to receive it the mail unexpectedly as a gift from two close friends recently and I'm taking it on an inaugural run this weekend. While I'm busy prepping doughs and condiments throughout the week, I'm also considering other accompaniments for this forthcoming pizza party, and where there's pizza, there's often wings.
Longtime readers of this blog probably know I have an affinity for wings. From sriracha to Cajun to Buffalo, I'm a wing recipe factory and I almost always take the opportunity to try out new variations on this bar food mainstay. This time around I settled on hoisin glazed wings.
Hoisin is kind of like the barbecue sauce of Chinese cooking and has a great earthy and sweet flavor that is crazy good, so I saw no reason why it wouldn't be perfect if brushed on wings. To add depth and balance to the glaze, I mixed the thick hoisin with soy sauce for saltiness, honey for an extra layer of sweetness, garlic and ginger for an added bite, 5-spice powder for more spice, and sesame oil to round it all it.
While sauces may change almost each time I grill up a batch of wings, my method remains a constant. I feel a bit like a skipping record repeating this with each post on wings that I do, but it certainly bears repeating. Basically, wings on the grill kind of suck—they can't get the crispy skin that results when their fried in hot oil, but there's a solution to that. It's not a quick solution, but it's certainly one I fully endorse and think is worth the time.
To get a crisp skinned wing on the grill, the wings are first patted dry and tossed with baking powder. They're then spread out on a wire rack and left in the fridge for eight hours prior to grilling.
When wings prepared this way are cooked over indirect high heat, they develop a skin that's textured and crisp. It takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes of cooking for this to happen, but with the amount of fat in wings, they can take the heat and remain juicy. There's also the added bonus that they pick up some smoky flavor during the cook as well.
Once the skins have crisped, it's then safe to apply the sauce. For these wings, I wanted a shiny cooked on glaze, so I gave them a brushing of sauce and then let them continue to cook until the glaze cooked down into a sweet and glistening coating.
With a final sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions, these wings were beautiful and ready for consumption. Since I'm a hoisin junkie, I was easily sold on these sweet and salty wings with a light Asian barbecue flavor. They're certainly a change from the average wing and representative of why I love these tiny chicken parts to much—you get a little crispy, a little juicy, and a little meaty all against a blank slate that's ready to take on any flavor you can imagine. As excited as I am to give the KettlePizza a try this weekend, I'm equally pumped as using the event as an excuse to make even more wings to serve alongside those pies.
Hoisin Glazed Chicken Wings
- Prep Time:
- 15 Minutes
- Inactive Time:
- 8 Hours
- Cook Time:
- 45 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 9 Hours
- 4-6 servings
- 3 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the Glaze
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup finely sliced scallions
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Place wings in a large bowl and sprinkle with baking powder and salt, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange wings in a single layer on wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, 5-spice powder, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the wings skin side up over the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook until skins are crisp and are starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Brush wings all over with glaze. Move wings to hot side of grill and cook until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer wings to a platter. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.