Tebasaki Chicken Wings… sort of

I got some cheap wings this week and I wanted to do the Nagoya style chicken wings.  However, I’m deathly afraid of deep frying in oil, so I’m attempting to make crispy wings with the oven.  I am using the recipe from the “No Recipes” blog with some modifications, which means these aren’t exactly Tebasaki wings.  Oh well.  I also read the very detailed discussion on the Food Lab about making the perfect crispy oven-fried wings.  His articles are really cool if you’re into what makes food act the way they do.  I have to see if he has a cure for wrinkly custard.

As usual, I’ve run out of stuff, so I, um,  replaced with a few things that may or may not work.  I can’t remember what the Tebasaki wings tasted like since I only had them once.  I thought I tasted white pepper in addition to black pepper but I am really not sure.  In any case, I actually have no black pepper at home, so I had to make a substitution.  All I am saying is that this is more “fusion” than true tebasaki wings.  I’ll attempt to stick much closer to the recipe next time, minus the frying.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of chicken wings
  • 2 tsp of black pepper [I ran out of black pepper, so I used 2 tsp of white pepper and 1 tsp of five spice powder – which I guess changed this recipe into just Asian wings?  Sorry for the misleading post, but the recipe without the mods is really for tebasaki wings.  :P]
  • 2 tsp of sea salt
  • 6 tbsp golden brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp sake
  • 6 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp ginger juice [except I don’t have any, so I skipped this]
  • 2 medium clove garlic, grated [I used 1 tbsp of pre-grated garlic, I don’t cook enough to have real garlic at home]
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Some flour mixed with 1 tsp of baking powder.

Method:  (I am paraphrasing the steps from No Recipes)

1.  Wash, cut, and pat the chicken wings dry.  Rub the salt, white pepper, and five spice powder into the dried chicken wings and place on baking tray.

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2.  Put the trays of chicken in the refrigerator to chill uncovered a few hours, or better overnight, to further air dry.  This is very important as dessicated skin is the key to crispiness.  Apparently, that’s the way they prep Peking duck according to the Food Lab.  Didn’t know that before.  I ended up leaving the wings in the fridge for 4 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 425F.

4.  Take the chicken out of the tray and lightly coat them with with flour + baking soda mixture.  You should spray the trays prior to putting in the oven.  I’ve sprinkled a little bit of white pepper on the chicken as well.  Bake for around 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked.

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This picture is taken about 30 minutes into the bake.  See how there seems to be a little “frying” action going on?

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5.  For the glaze, add the sugar, soy sauce, mirin, sake, garlic and ginger juice (if any) in the pot and boil.  I did not completely reduced the glaze – it was just a bit thicker but still running.  According to “No Recipes”, you should bring it to a “rolling boil”.  Add the vinegar at the end and let cool.

I confess in my case of not following instructions, I added all of the above + vinegar in the sauce and finished it just a few minutes prior to the wings being ready, so hardly cooled.

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6.  Now the wings are ready to come out.  As you can see, there is indeed some sign of “frying”.  That said, the air drying indeed works as the skin on top was also crispy with blistering.

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7.  Quickly dunk the still hot wings into the glaze to quickly coat the skin.  Since they didn’t come out of hot oil, I wasn’t sure I was able to get much of the caramelizing action mentioned in “No Recipes” blog, but the wings were definitely not soggy.

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Anyway, here are the finished products, photographed under side-sunlight.  I tried one and while the skin wasn’t as crispy as it originally came out of the oven, it was still OK.  The wings were still juicy enough.  So, not a bad outing, unlike the ill-fated custard tarts.  :)

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About Jedi Mickey

Compulsive planner, obsessive photographer, and not much of a writer.
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