While I am a HUGE fan of Buffalo Wings, I’ve found that over time my taste for wings has evolved to favor sauces a little more multi-dimensional (and not scorchingly hot) in nature. The base for this sauce is a slight twist on Ming Tsai’s Black Pepper-Garlic Sauce (Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals) , which he serves with a fabulous lobster dish at his restaurant “Blue Ginger”. Ever since I tried that amazing meal, I’ve been twisting his sauce to and fro to satisfy the requirements of a number of different culinary whims.
I modify it to use as a wing sauce by adding an herbal note with fresh thyme, and of course, some blue cheese! The nam pla and blue cheese add a salty tang, the garlic, a pungent bite, the black pepper a mellow, slow burn, and the butter smooths it all just enough to let you enjoy the bold flavors without forcing you to reach for a fire extinguisher. We had these for dinner the other night with a fresh green salad and some crusty bread, but they’d be great as part of a game day spread as you root for your favorite team this football season.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 pounds chicken wings, cut at the joint, tips removed and reserved for another purpose.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 25 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup scallions, white and green parts only, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) coarsley-ground black pepper
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cups crumbled blue cheese
- 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme
- canola or corn oil for frying
- Heat large sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and black pepper, and stir. Add the wine, stock, fish sauce, and lemon juice and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and let cool about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high speed to purée. With the blender running, add the butter one piece at a time to form a creamy sauce.
- Take 1 cup of the garlic pepper sauce and place it in a bowl. Whisk in the blue cheese and minced thyme, taste for seasoning and add salt if desired, set aside. Reserve the rest of the sauce, refrigerated for a later use.
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉
- Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
- In large sauce pot or fryer, heat 3-inches of the canola or corn oil, or enough to prevent wings from touching the bottom of the pan, to 375 ℉. Add the baked chicken wings to the oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Remove the chicken wings from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- Add the wings to the bowl of sauce and toss well to coat. Dump the whole mess onto a platter, or better yet, gather around the bowl and dig in!