Show me some one who doesn't love chicken wings and I'll probably have to show you an empty room! (unless you're vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian of course).
On second thought, this may not be the best analogy but you get the drift.
Chicken wings are always on our monthly rotation because they make such a fun change to usual dinners and are especially great on weekends, movie nights and part of buffet spreads to feed a crowd. Very handy for upcoming summer soirees, I say!
The fact these are oven roasted make these sin-free treats even more delightful. In fact I rarely deep fry my wings any more. Why would you when you can achieve a crispy finish, shiny glaze and succulent meat right in the oven?
The secret is in roasting the wings at a fairly high temperature, washing with reduced marinade and finishing up in the hot oven for the last few minutes. Magic!
With the cooking technique well in hand the next challenge is the flavoring. And when you've got chicken wings showing up on the menu as often as we do, what's a girl got to do but play!
So in this version, Asian inspired ingredients - chopped garlic, fresh ginger root, soy sauce, healthy amounts of honey & sesame whisked together with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest which is key, comes together in a deliciously tangy with a hint of sweetness kind of marinade.
I want you to know this that these are not cloyingly sweet so if you like your wings sweet, you'll need to add some brown sugar to the marinade.
The marinade is refreshing and flavorful just in itself but to infuse the wings, it is imperative to marinate them for a minimum 4 hours in the refrigerator and preferably overnight.
The rest I assure is as simple as 1-2-3!
Oven Roasted Honey, Lemon & Sesame Chicken Wings
3-4 lbs. chicken wings
canola oil for brushing
1 tbsp. canola oil for glaze
1/2 tbsp. sesame oil for glaze
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp. finely chopped ginger root
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/3-1/2 cup honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. brown sugar (optional - only if you want your wings markedly sweet)
more white sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
Wings: Rinse. Cut and discard the wing tips. Separate the drumettes from the winglets. Place in a large pan or Ziploc bag.
Marinade: Measure the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the marinade over the chicken wings. Massage thoroughly with clean hands and set aside for 4 hours and preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 deg. F.
Line an 11" x 17' metal jelly roll pan or baking tray with Aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
Arrange the wings in a single on the tray shaking away the excess marinade. Using a pastry brush liberally brush oil over the wings (just on one side OK)
Roast the chicken wings for 20 minutes. Set a timer for this.
Meanwhile, remove all left over marinade to a small sauce pan. Add the 1 tbsp. canola oil and 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil. Reduce on low heat for about 10 minutes until the marinade has a rich dark color. Set aside.
In 20 minutes when you remove the wings from the oven, they will be pale and will be releasing its juices. Turn the wings over and Baste half the marinade with a brush over the wings.
Return to the oven for 15 minutes setting the timer once again. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the remaining marinade onto the wings.
The wings should have already begun to caramelize. Return to the oven for about 3 minutes. Turn the wings over and finish on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve hot sprinkled with white sesame seeds.
These wings are really delicious on their own but if you have a hankering for some, Thai sweet chili sauce makes a great side.