SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - My best friend Gail introduced me on to these salt and pepper chicken wings from a Chinese restaurant, and I have been hooked on them ever since! The only problem is I don't want to drive almost an hour to get them every time I get a craving for them.
So after a few tries, I came up with a recipe so close I was amazed at how good they turned out! This will definitely be on the table for the Super Bowl. Enjoy!
10 chicken wings, cut at the joint and tips discarded (or saved for stock)*
1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. each - black pepper, sea salt
1/2 cup corn starch
Peanut oil for frying
2 tsp. garlic chili paste, divided
1 cup chopped green onion, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
Put wings in a shallow bowl, sprinkle evenly with sea salt, toss then cover and place in refrigerator overnight to draw out excess moisture.
Drain the wings and blot dry with paper towels then let the wings come to room temperature.
In a bowl combine cornstarch, teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of pepper stir with a whisk. Place the seasoned cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag, add the wings and toss to coat. Remove wings from bag, shake off excess cornstarch and place on a baking sheet, making sure pieces do not touch. Set aside.
Pour peanut oil into a high-sided pot (or deep fryer), place on stove and heat until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
In small batches, add wings to the hot oil and fry for 6 to 10 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon when done and transfer wings to a paper towel-lined pan to drain briefly.
In a mixing bowl place half of the garlic chili paste and half of the chopped green onion and stir to combine. Add half of the chicken wings to the bowl and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss again then remove to a platter. Repeat this step with remaining ingredients.
Garnish with chopped green onion and serve hot with or without your favorite dipping sauces.
*For this recipe, it's best to use fresh -- not frozen -- chicken wings. The water content in frozen wings makes it difficult to achieve the desired result.