For a large part of my life, I was a non-chicken-wing-eater. All chicken with bones, for that matter, actually. It felt barbaric to me for some reason. I was always the type of child who requested breast meat, dry, and it had to be all white. I used to have my roommate touch raw chicken for me. But I’m shocked and delighted to say the tables have turned.
I love breaking down chickens now. Taking an entire, whole chicken and cutting it into its parts is therapeutic and inexpensive. I realized it’s a little weird that I love to do this, but it’s totally satisfying. Get yourself a good knife, a good chicken, and have at it. Some of the best parts of the chicken are the wings and drumsticks, and on a day like today, Super Bowl Sunday, these items could not be more fitting.
Some people really get down to business when they eat wings. It becomes a monotonous rhythm. They grab, with sticky-icky fingers, stick in mouth, and the wing reappears as only bone. Chicken wing eating is almost an entire process, a ritual that comes with sitting down with friends, drinking beer, and watching sports. But they’re always the same flavor: buffalo. Spicy, tangy, and sour. But what if we went in a totally different direction, while maintaining some basic flavors? Let’s veer a little here.
Not familiar with red curry? It’s a Thai paste made from mashing spices and herbs together. Red curry has shallots, chiles, peppercorns, lemon grass, coriander, garlic, and other beautiful aromatics. It’s complex and deep. It adds another dimension to these wings. For lack of a better phrase and fear of sounding like Mr. Lagasse, these are wings but kicked up a knotch. They are sweet, spicy, and delicious.
Keep your wing routine, but make it a little more divine and off the beaten path. You’ll be glad you did.
Red Curry Chicken Wings with Mint
Adapted from Jamie Bissonnette
Note: you can either deep fry the wings and then toss them in the mixture below, or bake them. Depends on how healthy you’re trying to be. If you are baking them, you might consider adding a little butter to the sauce to make them a little richer.
About 4 pounds chicken wings, tips discarded, wings separated into two pieces (or any chicken parts you want)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
If deep frying wings
Chill your chicken for at least 60 minutes. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Fry for about 10-15 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Some people like to dredge their wings in flour and spices, and feel free to do so if you want. It’s not necessary, though.
If baking wings
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Spread the wings on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Bake the wings for about 40 minutes, or until browned and crisp.
Make sauce and coat wings
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, blend the with curry paste, brown sugar, garlic, lime juice and zest and soy sauce. When the wings are done, transfer them to the bowl and toss with the red curry mixture until well coated. Scatter mint leaves on top. Transfer the wings to a platter and serve.