Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings

Few people have probably ever heard of Huy Fong.  Until I wrote this blog post, the name did not mean much to me, even though I encountered Huy Fong almost every day.  Huy Fong is the name behind Sriracha, a hot sauce made with a paste of chile peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. 

The name, "Sriracha," comes from the city of Si Racha, which is located in Chonburi province of Thailand.  Chile pastes are a common ingredient in that region, although they differ from Huy Fong's sauce.  Indeed, the Sriracha, with the rooster on the label and the green top, transcends the Chonburi province and reaches across the globe ... a fact reinforced by the instructions on the back of every bottle, which are written in Vietnamese, Chinese, English, Spanish and French.

According to Food & Wine, Sriracha Sauce is one of Michael Symon's favorites.   Chef Symon is one of the chefs that I follow, because of his creativity with his dishes, not just as an Iron Chef, but also with respect to the dishes that he serves at his restaurants in Cleveland, such as Lola and Lolita.  When I came across this recipe, I decided to include it in a menu for a Super Bowl Party. 

A recipe from Michael Symon, available at Food & Wine
Serves 10

10 pounds of chicken wings, split
1/4 cup of coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
3 quarts of vegetable oil (only if frying)

1.  Marinate the wings.  In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt and olive oil.  Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

2.  Roast the wings.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets for about thirty minutes. If you do not want to fry the wings, you can continue to roast them for about one hour longer, until the wings are crispy and golden.

3.  Prepare the sauce. Add the Sriracha, butter, cilantro lime zest and juice to a bowl or sauce pan.  

4.  Fry the wings (optional).   In a deep fryer or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fry the wings in 4 or five batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per patch.  Drain, shaking off the excess oil.  As each batch is finished, add the wings to the sauce and toss well.  Transfer the wings to the platter, leaving the sauce in the bowl for remaining batches.  Serve hot. 

Although I do not find Sriracha to be very spicy (it is certainly less spicy than Tabasco), this sauce had a good kick to it.  I should add that the sauce recipe did not cover the full ten pounds of wings.  The next time, I think I'll make a double batch of the sauce.  Overall, this is a great recipe and it was well received.


When it comes to pairing anything that is spicy, usually a lighter beer or wine is recommended.  Food & Wine recommmded a "crisp, lager beer," such as Great Lakes Brewing Company's Dortmunder Gold.  Great Lakes Brewing Company is based in Cleveland, Ohio, making it a good pairing for a recipe by a chef who also hails from Cleveland.  I would also recommend any pilsner beer, such as:

Great Lakes Brewing Company -- The Wright Pils
Pilsner Beer
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Flowery bouquet, slight hop flavor

If you are looking for a wine, a light, fruity white wine works well with moderately spicy foods.  A wine such as Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris could pair with this dish, as well as a Vinho Verde from Portgual, such as:

Opala -- Vinho Verde (2009)
Blend of grapes
Rias Biaxas, Portugal
Flavors of Granny Smith apples and pears


1 comment:

Lauren said...

Sriracha is one of my favorite ingredients, too!

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