Start this recipe a day ahead to dry out the chicken wings in the refrigerator.
- 12 extra large chicken wings (about 2kg)
- 45 gm sea salt
- 60 gm brown sugar
- For smoking: charcoal and hickory chips
- 300 gm potato starch
- For deep-frying: cottonseed oil
- To serve: Porteño hot sauce
- 1Take a chicken wing and pull from tip to end to stretch it out. While stretching, slice through the wing tip joint bone, removing the tip. (Save these for making stock.) Slice through the connecting bone joint in the centre of the wing. The knife should slide straight through the cartilage and the ball of the bone. You will now have 2 pieces of wing prepared; repeat the process with the remaining wings, and evenly stack them in a non-reactive container.
- 2Whisk the salt, brown sugar and 1 litre (4 cups) water in a bowl until the salt and sugar have dissolved. The quality of your ingredients will give variations, but overall your brine should be sweet and salty to taste, but also evenly balanced – make adjustments as needed. Pour the brine over the wings and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- 3Remove the wings from the fridge and evenly space them out on wire racks over trays so none are touching each other, then put them in the fridge overnight to allow the brine to dry and become tacky; this will help the smoke to stick to the wings.
- 4Using a cold-smoker (see note at left), smoke the wings for 2 hours at medium–high smoke, replacing the coals and hickory chips halfway through with fresh ones.
- 5Preheat a combination oven with a steam function to 100°C. Leave the wings on the racks and place them in the oven to cook at full steam for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you could cook these in a large stovetop steamer for the same amount of time.
- 6Place the potato starch in a large bowl, add a few wings at a time and toss in the starch to coat, flicking in a little water to help the starch stick. Fill a deep heavy-based saucepan a third full (no more) with oil and heat to 180°C. Deep-fry the wings in batches for about 4 minutes (be careful, hot oil will spit), or until dark golden brown and crisp. Serve with Porteño hot sauce.
Note This recipe is from Recipes for a Good Time (RRP $59.95) by Elvis Abrahanowicz & Ben Milgate, published by Murdoch Books, and has been reproduced with minor Gourmet Traveller style changes.
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