I really like American style buffalo wings, drenched in spicy, sweet, sour, and smokey sauce. I really like Chinese style orange chicken (陈皮鸡). Well, to be honest it’s an American Chinese idea, found throughout New York. I really like dipping my chicken wings in blue cheese dressing. I really like freshly made fries, done from scratch. I really like cooking. So I thought, why not combine all these things I like, into the ultimate sauce drenched, orange-chicken-inspired, buffalo kind of wings with a home made blue cheese dressing, and freshly made french fries? I won’t only be using the “winglette” part of the chicken wing, which is traditionally the part used when making buffalo wings. I’ll be using the whole wings, because I really like the pointy outer part of the wing, when it gets all crunchy in the oven. The sauce has a distinct, tangy orange flavour coming from orange juice and zest. The blue cheese I’m using is Italian gorgonzola, a very creamy and flavoursome blue cheese from Italy. This is definitely a chicken wing recipe for grown-ups, rather than kids.
This recipe yields 2 portions.
This is what you’ll need…
- Zest from 1/2 orange
- Juice from 2 oranges
- 2 large potatoes (About 500 grams total)
- 1/2 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 red hot chilli pepper (put in more if you want it extra spicy)
- 250 g of passata di pommodoro (It’s uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. Commonly used in Italy, and throughout Europe)
- 3 tbsp of molasses (if you’re American, no further explanation is needed. If you’re not American, finding molasses might be hard, but it’s definitely worth it. Molasses, if intended to be consumed by humans, is called “black treacle” in British English. If intended for animals, it’s still called molasses. It’s a thick black liquid, with a very distinct taste. Very common in American BBQ sauces.)
- A teaspoon of Lapsang souchong tea. Now this part is amazing. To get a smokey flavor, I use a smoked tea. Lapsang souchong is typically smoke-dried over pinewood fires. You can of course use “liquid smoke” or other smoke flavour additives, but I really recommend you try to do it by infusing using this tea instead.
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper (yes, it’s way better to freshly grind it)
- About 400 grams of chicken wings, in my case 8 of them.
- 1-2 tbsp of rice vinegar (or any neutral vinegar)
- 50 g of gorgonzola blue cheese.
- 1 dl of crème fraîche
- Some chives
- Canola oil (it handles heat well, and is neutral enough for deep-frying fries, while still giving them a bit of a nutty flavour. Olive oil doesn’t really work very well for deep frying, it’s too sensitive to high heat)
This is how you make the sauce…
- Take off the zest from half an orange, and make sure there’s no white part stuck to it (it’s very bitter, you don’t want that). I’m using a chopper, so no need for fine cutting.
- Throw in the onion, garlic, red hot chilli pepper, and the zest, into your chopper, and chop it into tiny pieces. If you don’t have an automatic cutter, you better start chopping that by hand. It should be fine as a puree.
- Some olive oil in a saucepan, and let the puré kind of mix you just made fry for a minute or two.
- It’s time for the tomato puree, orange juice, and molasses. Pour it in there, and mix the whole thing up. Add sugar.
- OK, just put that tea bag in there, and let it infuse for about five minutes. Then take it out.
- Now let the sauce simmer on very low heat for about 30-45 minutes (without the tea bag!), until the sauce is reduced by half.
- Salt to taste. And a dash or two of rice vinegar. Try it, does it need more salt? Add it. Does it need a little more vinegar? Pour it in. Does it simply taste like ketchup now? You did put in too much vinegar. Better luck next time.
This is how you make the fries…
- Cut the potatoes into nice thick fries. Leave the skin on, it has tons of flavour and looks nice.
- If you have a pressure cooker, put in the little elevated disk in there, and put water on the bottom of the cooker. Att a baking sheet, that prevents the potatoes from sticking (starch is sticky!) and place them on the paper.
- Bring the pressure cooker to pressure, and let the potatoes cook for 4 minutes. Then release the pressure, and take them out.
- Put the potatoes on a dry baking paper, and place them in the refrigerator. Doing this over night is excellent, because they’ll really dry out in there. But it’s ok if you don’t have time. Your fries will turn out good anyway.
- Heat up oil to 205 degrees celsius. Carefully put in the fries in small batches, and cook until golden brown. You don’t need to fry them in two steps, as some recipes call for, they’re already boiled, remember?
- Once golden brown, put them on a sheet of paper to drain the fat, and you’re all done. Some salt on it, and you have wonderful fries!
This is how you make the blue cheese dip…
- It’s simply. Gorgonzola cheese, crème fraîche, some black pepper, and let it rest for a while. Preferably over night, if you really want the crème fraîche to acquire that wonderful blue cheese flavour all throughout it.
- Well, that’s it. Done.
This is how you cook the wings to perfection…
- You’ll find tons of methods online, but my conclusion is that baking them in the oven for about an hour, turning them every 20 minutes, is the simlpest and best solution. They are moist on the inside, and crunchy on the outside. This due to you turning them in their own fat, giving them that wonderful surface texture. Absolutely amazing. So… Start by setting the oven to 175 degrees celsius.
- Put the chicken wings on a baking sheet, and put them into the oven.
- After 20 minutes, turn the wings. Another 20 minutes, and turn them one more time. After a total of 60 minutes, they’re ready to be drenched in the sauce. Which brings us to the last steps…
Putting all the things together…
- Mix the chicken wings with the sauce, and put them on a plate.
- Serve with fries (salt them to taste) and the blue cheese dip.
- Chop up some chives and sprinkle them over your dish.
- You’re done. Now eat. You’ll love it!