The chicken wings can be prepared early in the morning and cooked and served that night, or prepared and stored overnight up to 24 hours in advance of cooking. Also once the chicken is cooked, it can be held in a warm oven until ready to serve so if you wanted, you could get this done before your guests arrive.
- 3½ to 4 pounds whole fresh chicken wings (10–12 whole wings)
- 3 inch piece of ginger peeled, sliced and smashed
- 1½ tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Dipping sauce
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 2 fresh Thai chilies cleaned and sliced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (add more if omitting Thai chilies)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (include pulp), plus additional fresh lime wedges to serve with chicken
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- Separate the wingette from the drumette by running a sharp knife down between joint. Then remove and discard the wing tip or freeze it for a future stock.
- Heat a large pot with about a gallon or so of water and add ginger (enough water to cover chicken but don’t put chicken in until water has boiled). When it comes to a boil, add chicken and bring back to a boil. Then cover and shut off burner. Let chicken sit in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain into colander and discard liquid and ginger pieces.
- Place a rack over a sheet pan and place chicken onto rack to drain. (Getting the chicken dry is crucial to a crispy wing).
- While the chicken is cooling, make the rub. In a small bowl mix five spice powder, sugar and salt to combine.
- Once the chicken is cool, pat dry with paper towels and try to get them as dry as possible. Sprinkle with spice rub a little at a time pressing the rub in as you go. Keep flipping and coating until all covered with rub. Leave the chicken on the rack and place the entire pan and rack into the refrigerator uncovered overnight or at least 8 hours. The chicken will lose more moisture uncovered and will drip into pan.
- The dipping sauce can be made the night before or close to serving. In a mortar and pestle, pulverize the garlic, chilies, chili paste and ginger to a fine paste. You can also use a small food processor (such as this one) if you do not have a mortar and pestle. Place paste into a small bowl and add fish sauce, lime juice, water and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Pull chicken one hour before cooking to bring to room temperature then about another 15 minutes before serving to cook. Heat a wok or heavy bottomed pan with enough oil to cover the chicken when cooking (about 3-4 cups). Using a thermometer, heat oil to between 325 and 350 degrees.
- Turn oven to 200 degrees to keep chicken warm between batches.
- Carefully drop one third of the chicken in the hot oil one at a time (it will splatter so stand back). Cook for 3-5 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove to paper towel lined plate then place in oven on pan to keep warm. Let oil come back to temperature and drop next third and repeat process for the remainder, keeping warm in oven as you go.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce and lime wedges.