This is a major messy dish and several people I taught in my last cooking class whined about how sticky their fingers got because we did not separate the wings prior to cooking. Frankly, I have no idea what they were complaining about; the wings were delicious and it was well worth the messy effort.
If you must separate the wings, however, it’s fairly simple: Separate the upper part of the wing from the lower part of the wing at the “knuckle.” I simply use a cleaver. Both parts are used in the recipe. The wing tip is fairly easy to chop off. These are discarded. Or you can always buy the wings prepared this way. They are usually referred to as ‘party wings’ in the supermarket.
16 chicken wings*
Salt & pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup light soy sauce
4 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. canola oil (reserved)
4 tbsp. Thai chili-garlic sauce
1 tbsp. Thai chili-garlic sauce (reserved)
¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp each fresh orange, lime and lemon peel
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 garlic clove, chopped (reserve)
2 scallions, chopped
Black and white sesame seeds (reserve)
Mix all ingredients together (except those marked ‘reserve’) and whisk until well incorporated. Place the marinade in a zip-lock bag with the wings and seal. Shake until all wings are coated. Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate. Three hours marinating time will do it, but I prefer to marinate mine overnight. The longer, the better.
These wings are cooked on top of the stove as opposed to in the oven. After the wings have been sufficiently marinated, place a wok on the stove top and add the 1 tbsp. reserved canola oil, the reserved tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, and the reserved garlic. Heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the wings (minus the marinade) and cook on medium-high heat to sear. Lower the heat and add the marinade to the wok. Cover and cook on low for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally. This will ensure that the wings cook through.
When 25 minutes is over, remove the cover from the wok and increase the heat to medium to stir-fry and further brown the wings. Be sure to turn the wings frequently as the honey can burn as the heat is increased. As the wings cook, the marinade will thicken and give them a slick coating. Throw in the black and white sesame seeds at the end and turn to coat. Remove the wings from the wok and place on a serving platter lined with fresh Watercress. Eat immediately!