“These were delish, worth the effort of turning and basting four times. They smell amazing while baking, too. If you want finger-lickin’ wings, give these a try.” ~Sarah
Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, 4714 — the Year of the Monkey. This colorful and festive holiday celebrates good fortune, prosperity, and the beginning of spring. Like most holidays, it’s a time of feasting and family togetherness. When I told my friend Barb that I was partnering with Kikkoman this month and needed a good Asian recipe to show off their traditional soy sauce for the Lunar New Year, her face lit up and she blurted out Mahogany Chicken Wings! That sounded so good I hounded her until she sent me the recipe. Chicken wings are one of many foods symbolic of good luck and special blessings that are served during the 15 day celebration of the Lunar New Year. They’re also super easy to make, and of course they do double duty for sports gatherings, so this is one recipe you don’t want to let slip through your fingers.
Kikkoman soy sauce forms the base for this extraordinary “Mahogany” glaze. Did you know that soy sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world? It’s been used for thousands of years which tells you a little something about how valuable it is in the kitchen. But all soy sauces aren’t alike — the best ones are brewed, and then aged, like fine wine. Kikkoman soy sauce is traditionally brewed and aged with a centuries old method and the result is a complex, mellow flavor that I really like. Soy sauce is a staple in my pantry not only for Asian dishes, but as an overall seasoning because it brings out the fundamental flavors in all kinds of food, just like salt does. I use it to add extra browning and flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. Experiment with it, I think it’s up there with a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar for that last important finishing touch to so many foods, from scrambled eggs to chili.
There are several other ingredients that go into this sauce, but no worries, all you have to do is whisk it together, and then let the wings marinate for up to 48 hours. You’ll have already done 90% of the work by the time you’re ready to bake them off. The aroma is, by the way, phenomenal, and you’ll know you’ve got a winner on your hands when every person who walks through your door while these are cooking squeals with delight. Not having guests? Lucky you — you can have them them all to yourself!
These are richly flavored and well balanced — not too sweet, with lots of umami flavor. But no one said anything about them being neat, so serve plenty of napkins and look the other way when your friends and family lick their fingers.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year to you all!
more Chinese recipes
- Easy Chinese Recipes to Celebrate the Lunar New Year!
- Quick Chili Oil Noodles
- Spicy Tangerine Chicken with Black Rice
- Chinese Scallion Oil Recipe
- Easy Vegetable Chow Mein
- Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
Mahogany Chicken Wings
- 1 lb chicken wings
- 1 lb chicken drumettes
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- Set oven to 375F
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together. Take a taste to see if you’d like to alter any of the proportions.
- Put the wings and drumettes in a large dish, bowl, or zip lock baggie and cover them with the sauce. Make sure all the chicken is covered with the sauce, and then put in the refrigerator to marinate for anywhere from 6 to 48 hours.
- Line a baking pan with parchment or foil. Shake the excess sauce off the chicken and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Put in the oven and set timer for one hour.
- While the chicken is cooking put the sauce in a pan on the stove and bring it to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, until reduced and thick.
- Baste the chicken with the sauce every 10-15 minutes. You don’t have to wait until the sauce has thickened to do the basting. (The chicken may be done in under an hour)
- Serve the chicken garnished with the scallions, along with the thickened glaze on the side.
- Kikkoman makes several different types of soy sauce to fit special dietary needs — Low Sodium, Gluten Free, and Tamari are all great choices.
- Don’t attempt to make this without lining your pan, the sauce really sticks.
- In our experience, these wings disappeared very quickly, and we wished we had made more than we did. The two pounds in this recipe left four of us hungering for more. Allow at least 1/2 pound per person, ideally more.
- More than one of us here had the same thought after our first taste test — this would be great using larger pieces of chicken, too, like legs, or thighs.