Chicken wings are the second most popular part of the chicken in the U.S., but on one particular weekend between mid-January to early February it’s king. (Any guesses which weekend?)
It wasn’t always like this, at least not until the mid-60’s when “buffalo wings” were invented; deep-fried, doused with a spicy, vinegary sauce and usually served with blue cheese, celery or carrot sticks. What’s not to like!?!
Well, for one thing, chicken wings contain the most fat of any part of a chicken, so deep-frying them is kind of doubling-down on fat intake. After marinating them in a soy and honey mixture I roast mine in the oven on a grate over a baking tray (see next two photos below) to render off some of the fat in the wing; about 30% less. (source: National Chicken Council, “The Nutrition Value of Chicken.”)
I love wings drenched in hot sauce or a smoky sweet bbq sauce but my favorite go-to style is with oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, and black pepper.
10 chicken wings (1 pack of Grove Ladder Farm chicken wings)
Marinade:2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp black pepper
Finishing sauce:2 tbsp oyster sauceThis may not seem like a lot but a little goes a long way. DO add more if you prefer.
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
3 garlic cloves sliced
1 cup sliced scallions (about 1 large scallion)Reserve 1/4 cup to garnish the finished wings
1 (or more) fresh chili sliced
Black pepper to taste
2 tbsp toasted sesame seedsReserve 1 tsp to garnish the finished wings
Make the marinade:Combine the soy sauce, honey, and black pepper, mix well; set aside.
Prep the finishing sauce:Wash the scallion/s, cut away and discard the root end and any discolored leaves, cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices; set aside.
Peel and slice the garlic cloves; set aside.
Toast the sesame seeds if not already toasted.Place in a small saute or frying pan on medium heat, toast while stirring occasionally, they are done when you see a sheen on the seeds and they start to just pop in the pan, remove from the heat and cool; set aside.
Prep the wings:Cut the wing tips off.These can be cooked along with the wings but should be done on a separate tray as they will cook in less time, or they can be saved (frozen) and added to chicken bones/carcass to make stock.
Slice the flap of skin at the “V” between the drumette and the wingette to the joint but NOT through the joint.You want to keep the wings intact so that they are easier (and quicker) to turn while roasting.
You will separate the pieces after they are cooked.
Place the wing on a wire rack on top of a baking tray if you are ready to roast them, or for even more flavor…Place them into a container, add the soy/honey marinade, mix well, cover, and store in the fridge for at least one hour.
When all the wings have been prepped and on the wire rack, baste each with the soy/honey marinade; set aside.
FOOD SAFETY TIP!Make sure to wash everything used in preparing raw chicken such as kitchen tools, cutting boards, containers, surfaces, and especially your hands in hot soapy water afterward to prevent cross-contamination.
Also, I use a yellow cutting board just for poultry as an added precaution against cross-contamination.
Cook the sauce and cut the wings
Add the cooked sauce to the cooked and cut wings
Roast the wings:
Pre-heat the oven to broil, place a rack on the second from the top level.
Place the baking tray with the wings in the pre-heated oven and onto the rack on the second from the topmost level.
Cook for 15 minutes, turn over each piece, cook for another 15 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 165F.
Remove the tray from the oven, place each wing on a clean cutting board, cut through the joint between the drumette and wingette, place the individual pieces into a large heat-proof bowl, cover, keep warm.
Make the finishing sauce:
Place a small non-stick saute pan onto medium-high heat, wait a minute for the pan to heat up, add the sesame oil, wait another minute, add all the garlic and three-quarters of the sliced scallions, cook until aromatic (about 1 minute), add the oyster sauce, three-quarters of the toasted sesame seeds, and a couple of turns of a black pepper mill, stir, cook for one more minute.If you wait too long you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the cooking sauce because it will lose moisture quickly.
Add the hot oyster sauce mixture to the bowl with the wings, stir to coat all the wings in the sauce.
Move the sauced wings to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
Your soy and honey roasted chicken wings with oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic, scallions, and chiles are ready!
Soy and Honey Roasted Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce