CHILI CHICKEN WINGS WITH CREAMY CUCUMBERS
Serves 4 ½ cup sweet chili sauce, such as Mae Ploy 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste) 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 teaspoon chopped ginger 2 lbs. chicken wings, preferably free-range 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt, to taste Freshly ground pepper, to taste Cilantro leaves, for garnish Sliced scallion, for garnish Creamy Cucumbers (recipe follows)
Combine the sweet chili sauce, tahini, vinegar, soy, garlic, and ginger in a blender and process on high speed for 10 seconds. Set the sauce aside until ready to use. May be made up to one week in advance and refrigerated.
Cut off the chicken wing tips and discard. Split the wings in half at the joint to make wings and drumettes. (Have your butcher do this if you prefer.) Rinse the chicken wings and pat thoroughly dry. Preheat the oven to 5000F. Put the rinsed and dried wings in a mixing bowl. Coat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Arrange the wings in a baking pan large enough to hold them in one layer. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway through cooking, until crispy on both sides. Remove from oven and add enough chili sauce to coat well and toss.
To serve, arrange the wings on a platter, garnish with cilantro and scallion. Serve immediately with the Creamy Cucumbers and remaining chili sauce on the side for dipping.
Makes about 2 cups 1 English (hothouse) cucumber 1 tablespoon kosher salt ¼ cup Greek-style yogurt 2 tablespoons heavy cream 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint Juice of 1 lemon ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber very thin with a mandoline or a sharp knife. Put the cucumbers in a medium- sized stainless- steel or glass bowl, add the salt, and mix thoroughly to combine. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cucumbers to a colander and rinse thoroughly. Squeeze dry with your hands and then dry with paper towels. Put the cucumbers back in the bowl and add the yogurt, cream, garlic, mint, and lemon juice. Toss to combine and then season with pepper. Refrigerate• until ready to use or for up to two days.