Recipe: korean barbecue chicken wings
When I left my house early yesterday morning, the predominant color of my neighborhood was white. The snow has steadily deflated and melted, but it’s still there. Within 25 minutes, we were zipping through Boulder’s streets where trees dripped with the confetti of springtime: bright yellow greens, pinks, whites, purples. My head hurt because it was early and because I had gone to bed late. This always happens when I travel – it’s the “wrapping up of things the night before” and the “catching a flight the following morning” head hurting thing.
robin perched in the aspens from the last storm
cute dark-eyed junco on our deck
My noggin did the deep sleep bounce several times during my flight to the East Coast. It woke me with that heart-racing jolt – you know, the one that makes you instinctively touch the corners of your mouth to see if you were drooling in your sleep. Each time I peered out the window to find a sea of clouds stretched out beneath us, like a giant down comforter. I searched for signs of landforms, but the weather prevailed and so did sleep. On my connection to Virginia, our puddle jumper rose above the clouds for a mere three minutes before beginning the descent. Underneath the cloud deck, I marveled at how green the Tidewater area was. Green and flat. Flat such that the only shadows thrown in the setting sun were from the trees and not from the topography of the coastal plain. Dominated by the estuaries that branch into this green and flat land with a million brackish fingers. It’s the opposite of where I make my home. And yet, I was coming home.
mixed weather and sun over the tidewater
dogwood blooms in the backyard
It’s been some time since I have visited Virginia, but we have this short window to travel before The Summer of Puppy commences. Of course, Dad has planned nearly every minute of my stay with activities, meals, and wine. I expressed my doubts that it is humanly possible to consume ALL of the food he has in mind for a long weekend (he just asked me when we’re going to eat soft shell crab). That’s the problem with going back to a place you know – there’s never enough time (or waistband). But you should save some belly room for these Korean barbecue chicken wings I tried from Irvin’s beautiful food blog. They’re baked, which in my opinion is far easier to make and less messy to clean up than frying, and they taste fantastic.
rice vinegar, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, kiwis, sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, black pepper, chicken wings
chop and mince
ready to make the marinade
I’ve never made wings before. I suppose that might be because I’ve never attended nor hosted a Superbowl party, opting instead to spend my day skiing. So when I went to Whole Foods in search of chicken wings, I fully expected that I would need to prep and break them down. I was surprised and delighted to learn that they had already been split, trimmed, and marketed under the name “party wings”. Party, indeed. How much easier could this get?
place marinade ingredients in a large bowl
mix them together
reserve 1/2 cup of marinade and pour the rest into a ziploc with the wings
i let the wings marinate overnight
As with many Asian recipes, the chopping and prep of the vegetables takes the most time (ten minutes, tops). Then you stir the marinade together, save out a half cup, and pour the rest into a ziploc bag with the chicken wings. The recipe suggests a marinate time of 8 hours and I let mine sit overnight – however you don’t want them to go longer than 12 hours or the proteins will start to break down due to the meat tenderizing properties of the kiwi. In other words, the chicken will turn to mush. When you’re ready, bake the wings in the oven and purée that 1/2 cup of marinade you almost forgot about in the refrigerator. That gets cooked down into a thick sauce which in turn gets tossed with your wings.
pop these in the oven to bake
blitz the reserved marinade
cook the purée until thick and dark (it takes 2-3 minutes)
fresh and hot out of the oven
gently toss the wings with the sauce
Oh man, these were good. I normally taste whatever it is I’m shooting, to make sure the recipe doesn’t suck (hey, it happens), but on this day, I ate about four before I realized I needed to save enough for the final photo. Jeremy, who typically gives chicken wings the side eye, walked into the room and declared, “That smells amazing!” I was done shooting, so I handed him the board piled with wings as I cleaned up. Every other sound out of his mouth was, “Mmmm” or “Wow”. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory and a little spice (you can add gochujang if you want to up the heat). These wings are delicious, simple, and not very greasy. Just don’t confuse “not very greasy” with “not messy” because they’re kinda messy. I think that’s the definition of chicken wings. Totally worth the mess!
garnish with green onions and sesame seeds
make more than you think you’ll want
Korean Barbecue Chicken Wings
from Eat the Love
6 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
4 stalks green onions, sliced thin (1/4-inch)
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
3 tbsps granulated sugar
2 kiwis, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsps red pepper flakes
2 lbs. chicken wings
Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, green onions, sesame seeds, sugar, kiwi, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in the refrigerator. Place the rest of the marinade in a ziploc bag with the chicken wings. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, but not more than 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with oil (I lined mine with parchment paper and brushed oil on the paper). Bake the wings for 30 minutes. Flip the wings and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place the wings in a large bowl. Purée the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade. Cook the purée for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until the sauce darkens and becomes thick. Gently toss the chicken wings with the sauce. Serve hot. Serves 4-6.
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