These wings from Chef Michael Smith come with a secret. Not only are they addictively delicious but their savoury flavour source is deceptively mysterious. Everyone will love the aromatic fermented fish flavours — until you mention where they come from. Or not. By the time the table finds out there's fish sauce involved, there won't be any turning back anyway. Just a pile of wing bones and shouts for more.
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL ) ketchup
1/4 cup (60 mL) fish sauce
1/4 cup (60 mL) sambal oelek or your favourite chili-garlic sauce
1/4 cup (60 mL ) or so of grated frozen ginger
24 whole chicken wings (or 48 chicken wing sections, a mixture of drums and flats)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, fish sauce, sambal, and ginger. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat well. Marinate, covered and refrigerated, overnight if possible.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C) and turn on your convection fan if you have one. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for speedy cleanup.
3. Arrange the flavoured wings on the baking sheet, reserving the leftover sauce. Bake the wings until they're tender and juicy, 45 minutes or so.
4. Meanwhile, pour the remaining sauce into a pot over medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat the works until it's bubbling. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens noticeable, becoming a glaze, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. When the wings are done, immediately transfer them to a large bowl and toss them with the hot, sticky sauce. Serve, share, and get ready to lick your fingers!
Serving Size: 24 whole wings, enough for a party.