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Serves 4 to 6
Everyone loves chicken wings, that fiery and buttery all-American snack that pairs perfectly with lots and lots of beer. I love adding unexpected flavors to familiar foods, and these wings are a perfect example of why it’s fun to think outside the bottle of Frank’s hot sauce. The chile, lime, garlic, cilantro, and Worcestershire provide a savory-acidic base for the sauce and add many new and wonderful layers of flavor, while the butter coats the wings with a luscious richness.
1/3 cup chopped cilantro stems
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 hot green chile, such as habanero, serrano, or Thai, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 pounds chicken wings
About 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
Puree the cilantro stems, lime zest, juice, Worcestershire, chile, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, add the butter, blending until it is incorporated. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl.
Pat the wings dry, then halve them at the joint and season them with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a pot or deep heavy skillet to 400°F. Fry the wings in 2 or 3 batches, turning occasionally, until they are golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes per batch (return the oil to 400°F between batches). As they are cooked, transfer the wings to the bowl with the sauce, tossing them to coat, or serve the sauce on the side for dipping. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the wings to a serving plate and sprinkle with the cilantro leaves. Serve the wings with the remaining sauce on the side.
A former food editor at Gourmet, Ian Knauer wrote extensively for the magazine and its website and also co-hosted the magazines awarding winning television series, Diary of a Foodie, and Adventures with Ruth. He now develops recipes for the Food Network, including for the show The Next Food Network Star, and the Cooking Channel. He contributes articles and recipes to Men's Health, Men's Journal, theAtlantic.com, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, AOL Food, Salon.com., and Gillt.com. He blogs at http://bigcitycountryboy.blogspot.com.
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