Like everyone else sheltering at home, I am getting food delivered from several of my favorite, local grocery stores. I let them substitute things if they can't find exactly what I've asked for and that has given me some unexpected products. Today, I got Chicken Wings instead of Chicken Thighs, but I'm not complaining because I really like them and I don't make them often enough. i decided to glaze them by making a rift on Vietnamese Caramel Sauce spiked with Lime Juice and they were absolutely delicious!
For those of you who don't know, Vietnamese Caramel Sauce is of course made with Sugar that is melted to a golden brown, but it also has Fish Sauce added to it. This ingredients smells pretty strong and a bit funky to if you are not used to it, but it tastes delicious. I use the Red Boat brand because it's a bit smoother and mellower. But all Fish Sauces are salty and deeply savory, so the Lime Juice gives that tart and tangy punch that makes the sauce taste so good. And I cooked Garlic and Shallot bits in the sauce too.
I cooked the Chicken Wings as I always do, broiled in the oven. Because I got a mix of the both the little meaty Drumettes and the bonier middle section of the Chicken Wings all cut up, I cooked them for slightly longer - 12 minutes on the first side and 10 minutes on the other. If you just have the middle section, you only need to cook them for about 9 - 10 minutes per side. Then you just toss them broiled Chicken Wings in the sauce and serve them with lots of Rice and a vegetablek and you have a perfect meal!
Chicken Wings with Vietnamese Flavors
2 pounds Chicken Wings
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water
1/4 cup Fish Sauce
2 large Garlic Cloves, minced
1/3 - 1/2 cup minced Shallots
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed Lime Juice
Heat the oven to broil. Place the Chicken Wings on a foil lined baking sheet with a wire rack on top. Place in the broiler and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and using tongs, turn the Chicken Wings over. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Put the Sugar and Water together in a high sided saute pan and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat until the Sugar turns syrupy and light golden brown. Add in the Fish Sauce, carefully and slowly and then the Garlic and Shallots. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 1-1/2 - 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the Black Pepper and Lime Juice and stir to blend.
When the Chicken Wings are done, place in a bowl and drizzle the Caramel Sauce over them. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
Five Element Analysis
Chicken belongs to the Wood Element and the Lime Juice adds even more. Broiling is a Fire method of cooking and the Black Pepper brings in a tiny bit more. Sugar is always associated with the Earth Element and the Garlic and Onions contribute the Metal Element. The Water Element is found in the Fish Sauce. Who knew? This method of cooking Chicken Wings makes it a pretty balanced dish all by itself!