This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Draper Valley Farms. All opinions are 100% mine.
These crispy chicken wings are boiled, then fried to golden perfection and tossed in a delicious sweet and spicy garlic sauce. A fantastic party appetizer!
Okay, so first off, I’ve been cooking and developing recipes for the blog for almost four years now (and cooking as a hobby/to survive for many more) – I feel like I’m pretty good at what I do and put out recipes ranging from “quite good” to “sha-mazing.” And yet this recipe blew me away.
It’s beyond “sha-mazing.” It’s “I didn’t even know I had this in me” levels of good. To some, I may be over-selling this, but if you’ve ever tried crispy garlic chicken at one of the many fantastic Thai spots across the PNW, I think you’ll find this recipe really hits the spot.
Taste and texture
At first bite, these wings have a delicious sweet, soy, garlic flavor. But give it a few moments and you’ll feel a slow build of spice – a satisfying spice that’s just enough to coat your tongue with a little heat.
Frying these wings gives them a flavorful, crispy skin with a juicy center, and once tossed in the sauce they are super sticky and satisfying.
About Draper Valley Farms
Local to the Pacific Northwest, RANGER® The Free Range Chicken and ROXY™ The Organic Chicken are raised on farms in Washington and Oregon with a single processing plant in Mount Vernon.
The chicken I used in today’s recipe, RANGER® The Free Range Chicken Wings, is free range, 100% vegetarian fed and Non-GMO Project Verified. I’ve been a fan of their chicken for a while now and with RANGER® and ROXY™ products, I do feel like I can taste the difference in quality.
And I like that they respect the environment here with salmon safe and sustainable farming practices.
Ready to give them a try? Find where to buy RANGER® and ROXY™ near you.
Tips for making crispy chicken wings
There are several things that contribute to the crispiness of these chicken wings. First, we parboil the chicken. Parboiling helps get rid of the excess fat, which helps the skin crisp up during the frying process. Adding the shallots, ginger and rice wine to the simmering pot gives these juicy wings a little more flavor.
Parboiling also helps safeguard against the biggest problem I have when deep frying chicken in general: the outside is golden and crispy but the inside is not cooked to a safe temperature.
The next step in getting amazing crispy chicken wings is properly drying them between parboiling and frying. I tried this recipe two ways. The first time I parboiled, then dried with a paper towel and let them air dry for about 30 minutes. The second time I parboiled, patted dry with a paper towel and let them air dry, uncovered, in the fridge for about 24 hours. The skin was noticeably thinner and crispier, but I did still thoroughly enjoy the wings with the 30 minute drying – it’s a viable option for those that are pressed for time.
And then we have the final stop on our crispy chicken wing journey: tapioca starch, sometimes referred to as tapioca flour. You can usually find it in the flour/gluten free baking area of the store. Using a starch instead of flour gives a crispy paper-thin coating to the chicken vs the thick crunchy crust you might find on nuggets or a sandwich.
In the event you cannot find tapioca starch, cornstarch can be substituted.
Tips for assembly
This recipe has four main steps: parboiling, drying, frying, and saucing. To get the best results, I suggest parboiling and drying the day before, so you get a solid 24 hours for the skin to get nice and dry.
And to make the day of your event even easier, I suggest making the sauce the day before too. It holds up well to gentle reheating and the extra incubation means those flavors have more time to mix and get to know each other. It also gets a little spicier (not overwhelming in my opinion), but if that isn’t your jam it’s something to keep in mind.
That means on the day of, all you have to worry about is making the coating and frying. If you don’t have a wok (my favorite method), a deep skillet will work as well.
Topping it all off is a healthy garnish of whole fried basil leaves. Fried/dried basil in this recipe is essential to me – it’s how this dish is typically served across the PNW and I love taking in small bites of the flavor.
However, this comes with a warning: basil leaves, like many fresh herbs, contain a lot of water. Never drop whole leaves straight into the hot oil. Gently lower them a fraction at a time. Expect the oil to splatter and avoid the area – a precaution I suggest taking when deep frying anyway. You’ll know they’re done when they hold their shape and appear mostly translucent.
If this is a concern for you, dry the basil in the oven or, sadly, just omit.
In the end, these wings are the best I’ve ever had (seriously), and I plan to serve them at all the parties I can. I really think you’ll love them too!
Until Next Time. X
- 1 shallot, chopped roughly
- 1 (2-inch-long) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- ½ cup mirin rice wine
- 3 lbs RANGER® The Free Range Chicken Wings, separated into wings and drummettes
- 3 qt water
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fresh basil, in bunches or whole leaves
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
- ¼ c. + 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp mirin rice wine
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 Thai chilis, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- In a large stock pot, bring the water, shallots, ginger and rice wine to a boil.
- Add the separated chicken wings and drummettes and boil uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a wire rack and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Chill uncovered for 30 minutes if pressed for time or, preferably, 24 hours.
- In a small saucepan, place the soy, vegetable oil, rice wine, brown sugar, minced thai chilis, minced garlic and honey.
- Bring to a simmer on medium – low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn heat to low and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and honey and brush a thin layer on all sides of the wings.
- Toss in the tapioca starch until evenly coated.
- Heat a wok or large skillet filled with vegetable oil to 350°F and gently place the wings inside. Depending on the size of your skillet, this may need to be done in batches. Leave 1-2 inches of room between each.
- Fry for about 8 minutes, flipping often, until an even golden brown.
- Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Using a pair of tongs, gently lower the basil a fraction at a time into the hot oil.** NEVER drop handfuls or whole leaves straight into the oil.
- Fry 30 seconds – 1 minute, or until the basil holds its shape and appears mostly translucent.
- To assemble, toss the fried wings in the sauce and garnish with fried basil and diced red pepper. Serve warm.
- Large stock pot
- Wok or deep skillet
**Like many fresh herbs, basil leaves contain water – expect the oil to splatter and avoid the area. Alternatively, dry out the basil in the oven at 150F for 1-1 ½ hours.
See post for more tips and substitutions.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American/Thai
Keywords: crispy chicken wings, fried chicken wings, crispy garlic chicken wings, crispy garlic chicken