New Wave "Chicken Wings" with Sweet-and-Spicy Pepper Glaze
This post-modern Buffalo wing recipe was served by Michael Andrzejewski at a Best of Buffalo event at the Beard House. Although all the elements of traditional Buffalo wings are present—chicken wings, hot peppers, deep-frying, and blue cheese—the similarities end there. Serve these crunchy little boneless bundles with the sweet-and-spicy glaze for dipping.
Sweet-and-Spicy Pepper Glaze:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 2 pounds large chicken-wing drumsticks or 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Pinch sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 10 6-inch-square spring or egg roll wrappers, about 1 pound
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 egg yolks (from above)
- 1/3 pound blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 4 to 6 cups light vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the glaze, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sauté until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the peppers are very soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth. Strain and set aside until ready to serve.
To prepare the “chicken wings,” skin and bone the chicken wings or thighs and roughly chop. Transfer the chicken meat to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade, and pulse on and off until smooth. Add the garlic, shallots, sugar, red pepper, and salt, and blend thoroughly. Add the egg whites and heavy cream and process until just combined.
Work with one wrapper at a time while keeping the others tightly covered so they do not dry out. Brush each wrapper with the beaten egg and egg yolk mixture. Cut into quarters to produce 4 equal squares. Place a teaspoonful of the chicken mixture in the center of each square. Place a pinch of crumbled blue cheese on the chicken filling and press it into the center. Fold up the corners of the squares to form a tight bundle around the chicken and blue cheese filling. Brush each bundle with the egg mixture and roll in the panko to coat. Refrigerate until the remaining bundles have been made.
Heat the vegetable oil to 350ºF in a deep-fryer or a tall stockpot. Fry the “chicken wing” bundles until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer inserted into one of the bundles should reach 160 degrees when they are done.) Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with the sweet-and- spicy-glaze.
40 hors d’oeuvre