We present Cambodian inspired chicken wings using a Japanese style teriyaki sauce by way of Kentucky. Serve them warm alone, take them to a picnic (or maybe the Hollywood Bowl and impress your seatmates). We also include a room temperature rice "salad" and, to complete the Oriental-American theme for fans of Old Fashioneds, a Kentucky Colonel cocktail. Finger licking good food (we refrain from using that other phrase, trademarked by the company famous for a real (albeit honorary) Kentucky colonel).
The wings and rice are adapted from the Num Pang cookbook by Ratha Chaupoly & Ben Daitz with Raquel Pelzel. Num Pang was a popular sandwich shop in New York City. We replaced soy sauce with Kentuckyaki (produced by Bourbon Barrel Foods "with a splash of real bourbon for extra flavor") from Howie's Market.
SAMBAL-KENTUCKYAKI-GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS, NUM PANG BASIC ("not really") RICE & KENTUCKY COLONEL COCKTAIL
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons Kentuckyaki
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
¼ medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2½ pounds chicken wings
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle (optional)
1 cup apple cider
¾ cup orange juice
⅓ cup sambal oelek
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Kentuckyaki
¼ red apple
¼ medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ teaspoon ground dried Thai bird's eye chile
First we need to talk about wings. When buying a whole chicken and cutting it up, consider saving the wings for a dish like this! At the store you may find whole wings, or what are being called "party wings". These have been cut down, eliminating the tip (which we actually like) and possibly one of the joints.
MARINATE THE WINGS: In a large bowl or a one gallon ziploc bag, mix together the vinegar, fish sauce, Kentuckyaki, sambal, salt, and honey, until the salt has dissolved. Stir in the onion and garlic, then add the wings and toss to thoroughly coat with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or roll up the ziploc bag, pushing out as much air as possible and submerging all the wings in liquid. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. We turn the bag over half way through.
MAKE THE GLAZE: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the apple cider, orange juice, sambal, vinegar, honey, Kentuckyaki, apple, onion, garlic, chile, and ¾ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer (only a bubble or two should show at the surface), stirring often, until the apple falls apart and the glaze becomes very thick and red, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Set aside to cool slightly, then blend until smooth (in batches, if need be).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Remove the wings from the marinade, shake off any excess (a little marinade left clinging to the wings won't hurt anything), and place on the lined baking sheet. Roast on the middle rack until golden, about 25 minutes, turning the wings over about midway through cooking.
If the pot with the glaze is big enough add the cooked wings and toss with the glaze (use a large bowl if necessary). With the broiler set to high and using a rack in the upper middle of the oven, return the now coated wings on the baking pan to the oven and broil until the wings and the glaze are sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes. (If there is any leftover glaze, reserve it to serve as a dipping sauce along side the wings. Better yet, make a bigger batch of the glaze to make sure you have lots extra!)
Serve sprinkled with the scallions and sesame seeds, if desired.
WINE SUGGESTION: Zinfandel
The Num Pang folks regard this not so plain dish as their "basic", go to rice. Perfect as a side or in a rice bowl.
2 cups jasmine rice
2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup finely chopped fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves
1 cup fried onions*
¾ cup fresh lime ice (from 7 to 8 limes), plus more as needed
½ cup fried garlic*
2¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon canola oil
*Fried onions and fried garlic are Oriental market staples. You can find a similar and perfectly suitable item in the crispy fried onions that are often put on green bean casseroles. We also had on hand the toasted garlic nuggets from Howie's.
Place the rice in a colander, set the colander in a large bowl, and cover the rice with cold water. Stir the rice around until the water gets cloudy. Lift the colander up out of the bowl and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat this process, stiring and draining the water each time, until the water is completely clear. This process removes starch from the rice.
Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by ¾ inch. Stir 2 tablespoons (some may prefer less) of the salt into the rice, cover the saucepan, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the rice partially covered until it has absorbed all the water, about 20 minutes. Fluff up the rice with a fork, then cover the saucepan completely and let stand for 10 minutes.
Turn out the rice onto a rimmed baking sheet and set it aside to cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the cooled rice to a large bowl and add the cilantro, basil, fried onion, lime juice, fried garlic, pepper, oil and remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt (or less to start). Stir to combine, taste and adjust the lime juice, salt and pepper as needed and serve.
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 oz Bénédictine D.O.M. liqueur
2 oz bourbon
Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass. Add 2 cubes of ice.
Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds. Strain away the ice (optional).
Garnish (optional): maraschino cherry.