For The Little Empress’ birthday, I bought a bunch of chicken wings from Costco. We didn’t have as many guests as I had originally anticipated so we ended up buying more chicken wings than we had originally anticipated needing. No biggie since the Foster Farms chicken wings were oh-so-conveniently packaged in 1 lb increments. Not exactly great for the environment but damned handy, I’d say!
It has been a clean-out-the-fridge kind of week so when I saw the last two pounds of chicken wings, I knew that the time had come to eat them. I happen to love chicken but I seem to be the only one in my house that does. Chicken wings in particular aren’t a favorite of The Hubs unless, of course, they’re crunchily deep fried and slathered in hot sauce. *sigh* What to do, what to do. I found a few recipes for baked chicken wings on All Recipes, the most appealing of which were wings coated in a sweet, sticky sauce. Mmm. I love sticky sauce wings and figured that this would be a great way to use them.
After scanning the recipes — and what little was available in my pantry and fridge — I decided I had enough of an understanding of the basic marinade to make something up on the fly. One thing I wanted to do was to use up some gochujang I had picked up. Gochujang is a fermented Korean red pepper paste which has a tiny bit of a kick but is more like an umami bomb than anything else. It has a great savory taste that is awesome with meats. I also had some mystery Korean “cooking syrup” that I picked up on a whim at the Asian grocery store on a recent trip. I had assumed it was some type of malt or millet syrup. When I opened the bottle and began to pour it out, it was quite thin, much thinner than pancake syrup. Subsequent googling has revealed that it is probably cane syrup.
The end result was something truly remarkable. The gochujang gave it a tiny bit of heat but was more savory than anything else. The honey and cane syrup boiled down to sticky goodness. This was really good stuff! It would have gone well with some pickled veggies but instead I had roasted veggies on hand (eggplant, zucchini and onions) so that’s what I ate it with. You could eat it as a main course with rice or as an appetizer.
Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings
Makes about 20 chicken wings/drumettes
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1/4 c. Korean cooking syrup
- 1/4 c. gochujang
- 2lbs chicken wings, separated into drumettes and wings, tips removed
Mix together the marinade ingredients until well incorporated. (The honey and gochujang are both pretty sticky so you may want to use a fork or whisk to ensure that it dissolves well into the liquid.) Pour over chicken. Let marinate at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray for ease of clean up. (When I say sticky, I mean it!!) Remove wings from the marinade and drain well, reserving marinade. Place wings in the baking dish in a single layer and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until reduced by a third. (It will still be fairly thin.) Set aside but keep warm.
After 40 minutes, remove wings from oven. Dip each wing into the boiled sauce, returning to the baking dish. Bake for another 10 minutes — the sauce will reduce further and get sticky.
For VERY sticky wings, remove baking pan again from the oven. Turn on the broiler to 550F. Brush each wing with a generous amount of the boiled marinade. Return to the oven and broil until a deep mahogany color with some nice, crispy bits.