Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

Some of my favorite recipes come out of desperation for something new.  I am a creature of habit and now my family is as well. When I make something they really like, it’s hard to get new things into the rotation and I seem to be the only one who gets bored.  Taco Tuesday is a perfect example. Apparently, tacos aren’t as good on Wednesdays or as festive on Saturdays!

My pickier-than-most 14 yr. old son, Jake, discovered wings over the past few years.  Plain, no sauce, well done wings and they have now become a regular meal in our house.  I don’t really do much other than toss them with some olive oil and seasoned salt and then roast on a high temperature in the oven till crispy.  The key to getting anything crispy is eliminating moisture so I pour off the drippings as they cook and toss them with cubed bread (a day-old rustic loaf or even a baguette) and then throw them back onto the tray with the wings.  Jake’s new favorite meal, wings and croutons. 

The wings are great but not enough for me so I created this recipe with lots of bold, Asian flavors I already had on hand.  These days most grocery stores have sections where Asian products like Oyster sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar are readily available.  If I make wings like I described above for my son (and husband, Captain Vanilla) I take about a dozen off the tray when I add the croutons.  I toss them in this sesame sauce and then put them back in the oven on another tray (God forbid they should touch the other wings!).   I turn them a couple of times to avoid burning (and they will if you leave them in one position too long since there is honey in the sauce) and when they come out of the oven, they are sticky, sweet, spicy, crunch and meaty all in one bite.  Just like eating great BBQ – dig in and don’t bother using a napkin until you are done! 

Like most of my recipes, you can tweak these based on your spicy tolerance.  I top them with some sliced scallions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some white or fried rice.  They would be a great appetizer, too, as an alternative to buffalo wings (or addition!) and if you’re making these for a crowd, just double or triple the recipe.

Ingredients

1 pkg     Chicken wings (8 – 12 wings) (Remove/discard the tip and cut into drumettes and flats)

2 tbs      Olive oil

1 tbs      Seasoned Salt (I use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)

2 tbs      Sesame oil

1/3 cup Honey

1/3 cup + 2 tbs  Oyster sauce     

1 tbs      Rice wine vinegar

2 tsp      Chili crunch, chili sauce or siracha (you can use whatever chili sauce you like and +/- to taste)

2            Scallions, thinly sliced

1 tbs      Sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 400.

Place cut chicken wings in a bowl and toss with olive oil and seasoned salt.  Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet with parchment paper in a single layer. (Save yourself time and effort cleaning an unlined cookie sheet.  A layer of foil will catch all the sauce and drippings and the wings, once coated, wont stick to the paper.)  Cook for about 40 minutes, flipping mid-way through cooking.  Wings should be crispy on both sides and if there is a lot of drippings, pour them off before you do the next step. 

Lower the temperature of the oven the 350.  In a large bowl, make the sauce by combining the sesame oil, honey, vinegar, and chili sauce until well mixed.  Toss the wings in the sauce and place them back on the parchment paper returning them to the oven.  Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping them over after five minutes. If you have extra sauce, you can baste the wings or reserve it for dipping.  When they are done, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallions and enjoy!

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