Winging It

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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.

CREAMY CU­CUM­BERS

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.

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