One of the best barbecued chicken wings I have ever eaten comes from a Thai restaurant in our area. They are succulent little drumettes grilled over a charcoal fire, with a sweet and sticky glaze, and served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. And just like any other food I fall in love with, I tried to replicate these tasty little wings at home using coriander root as the core ingredient, mixed with a few sauces to get that rich and intense flavour that is sweet and savoury.
I think I'm almost there if I could have grilled the chicken over a charcoal pit, just to get that charred smoky flavour. I resorted to just baking them in the oven, which worked fine. And just to get that extra sticky glaze on top, I used a little corn syrup for basting the wings and turned the broiler on for a few minutes until they were slightly charred, glossy and sticky. Then, just serve them as an appetizer with a sweet chilli sauce or enjoy them with steamed jasmine rice! Yum! And the kids sure love these awesome wings!
Thai-style Grilled Marinated Chicken
1.2kg chicken drumettes/wingettes
1 tbsp corn syrup/glucose (optional)
Thai sweet chilli sauce to serve
Marinade (combine in a bowl):
4-5 coriander roots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy)
1 tsp thick dark soy (caramel)
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground white peppercorns
3/4 tsp salt
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine with marinade ingredients and mix well. Leave to marinade in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 210C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Shake off any excess marinade from the chicken and arrange the pieces on the tray in one layer. Place the tray near the top half of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once to brown the other side. When the skin on the chicken begins to "bubble", sizzle, caramelize and crisp up, the chicken is ready! Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with some Thai sweet chilli sauce if desired.
- Before pouring the marinade into the chicken, have a taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
- Leave the wings to marinade longer, for 1-2 days, and that will produce an even more intense flavour. Use a ziploc bag to marinade the chicken in so that it seals in the flavours better.
- To create a sticky glaze on the wings, pour the reserved marinade in a small pan and add 1 tbsp corn syrup. Simmer briefly until it reduces by half and use this to baste the wings when they are almost cooked. Turn on the oven grill/broiler and let the wings caramelize and form a dark sticky glaze on the surface. This should take 2-4 minutes.