Book Bait: The Hulk, Dry-fried Green Hot Wings
WHAT: In a shameless campaign to drum up anticipation for our upcoming cookbook, The Art of Escapism Cooking – A Survival Story, today I am launching a new recipe series with a very self-serving, absolutely no-good intent. Lady and gentlemen, may I present to you, The Book Bait. What are book baits you ask. Well, they are brand new recipes that are not in the cookbook but however, in order to make them, you will need an essential component from the book to complete which, yes, is not yet published until October 15, 2019. And yes, I am willing to do that to you to sell books.
WHY: Aside from the main motive to get you to pre-order the book (and you can do it here, here and here!), the inspiration for creating this recipe series – if there is still room for this argument – is not entirely corrupt. There is a chapter inside the book called Condiments, consisting of sauces and spice-mixtures that are used more than once throughout the book. But since the wrapping-up of the book, I continued to unearth new and exciting ways to utilize them that are too good to be left unbothered. Which brings us to today’s subject, Fried Chili Verde Sauce.
HOW: If I could put this green chili sauce in every recipe in the book, I would. It’s a smooth, creamy almost, and fiercely fragrant puree made from green cayenne peppers that are cooked down, intensified, consummated. It packs such a pronounced profile of that savory, mouthwatering pepperiness that so many other chili sauces strive for but fall miserably short on, with just enough heat to break a mist of sweat on your forehead without burning your hair off. It sparkles as a supporting role in a small dollop but ultimately, can and should carry a dish as the main storyteller in a recipe such as this.
I call it, The Hulk, semi-butterflied dry-fried wings lathered in a fiery green hot puree with fried chili verde sauce as the base, and several varieties of green herbs to bring a grassy, fragrant, complex flavor profile to the overall, painfully pleasurable experience. The butter that is traditionally mixed into other hot wing recipes, is replaced by my extra-brown browned butter that is poured on ruthlessly at the end, humming its respective tune in this crispy, spicy, creamy and finger-licking chorus.
You probably want this immediately. I mean I certainly want it again since yesterday. But if someone is making you wait five weeks… well, that’s just mean.
- 1/2 cup fried chili verde sauce, recipe from The Art of Escapism Cooking out on October 15/2019
- 3 large scallions, green parts only
- 1~2 small Thai green chili or jalapeno (depending on your heat tolerance), sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 2 packed tbsp baby arugula
- 2 packed tbsp cilantro leaves
- 1 packed tbsp dill
- 1 packed tbsp mint leaves
- 1 packed tbsp parsley leaves
- 2 tsp Japanese sansho powder
- 1 tsp white rice vinegar
- 1/2 batch of extra browns browned butter
- 2 lbs (1 kg) mid-section chicken wings
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- MAKE GREEN CHILI SAUCE: In a blender, add all the ingredients under "green chili sauce" except for browned butter, and blender until smoothly pureed. Transfer into a bowl and gently press a sheet of plastic wrap right against the entire surface of the sauce to prevent it from oxidizing. The sauce can be made a few hours ahead of time. Prepare the extra-browns browned butter, and set aside until needed.
- MAKE WINGS: If you prefer to deep-fry your wings, you can do so as well, but I prefer this semi-butterflied dry-fried method because by opening up the wings, you increase the surface area and folds that will hold onto more sauce, even though this method requires a little more knife-work. Place the mid-section wings on the cutting board with the thick skin-side down. With a sharp pairing-knife, cut right in between the two wing bones and completely sever the joints without cutting all the way through. Then further score the two sides to allow the wing to open up and lay flatly with the skin-side down (take a look at the photo if it sounds confusing).
- Season the wings with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then arrange them skin-side up on a baking sheet. Place the sheet uncovered in the fridge for one hour, to marinate and also to dry up the skin.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, arrange the wings to lay flatly with skin-side down. Don't move them too much and let the skin cook and render for about 10~12 minutes, until crispy and golden browned. By now the meat should have been almost cooked through as well, with only a few pink spots. Flip the wings and cook for another 30 seconds just to finish. Let them rest skin-side up on a baking sheet while repeating with the second batch.
- Toss the wings with the green chili sauce, and douse generously with extra-browns browned butter. Serve immediately.