Serious Eats: Recipes

Chile Chicken Wings

I stacked up recipe after recipe for Wing Week, so many that my final night of wing cooking was plagued with difficult choices of what would make the final cut.

Just when I thought I had the line-up all figured out, I was thrown for a loop when Erin sent me this recipe for chile hot wings from the new cookbook Michael's Genuine Food. I read the ingredient list and was immediately captivated—Thai sweet chile sauce mixed with tahini. The traditionalist in me couldn't fathom what this clash of cultures would taste like. I needed to know.

Schwartz notes "these may resemble traditional Buffalo wings in appearance, but a blend of soy sauce, tahini, ginger, garlic, and Asian chile sauce makes these wings major-killer," and I couldn't agree more. Wings in disguise, you think you're ready for a mouthful of red hot butter, but instead you get a flavor and texture that surprises to much delight.

It's still hard for me to put into words what this tastes like, but the perfect amount of coating holds a sweet spice with the sesame seamlessly joining the party. The recipe also comes with a tzatziki style dipping sauce, but I don't think they really need it.

It's a perfect end to Wing Week, exemplifying just how diverse little pieces of chicken can be. At the same time, they left me a little somber—this was just the tip of the iceberg. Ideas abounded of even more wing varieties just itching for their time in the spotlight, and I'm sure you all have even more that would never even occur to me. Wing Week Part II anyone?

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