I needed to "de-stash" my freezer a bit, so I pulled out this recipe I've been sitting on for the chicken legs. The recipe originally called for wings, but I figured a bit of adaptation never hurt anyone.
Today's recipe is from Everyday Chinese Cooking by Leeann and Katie Chin. If you're from Minnesota, you've heard of the Leeann Chin restaurants - the Panda Express of Minnesota, if you would. (They also recently purchased Pick Up Stix, which I ate at a few times in Southern California.) The premise of the book is that Chinese cooking isn't that difficult or exotic - a few simple directions, ingredients anyone can find, and you are on your way.
I had always picked out this recipe with the intention to make it with either legs or thighs, but Mr. Unoriginal Chef said it would probably be better on wings... and that this was similar to a recipe his grandma made when he was a kid. Go figure. Every time I find an Asian recipe, it reminds one of us of our childhoods.
This recipe is extremely easy - the hardest part was adjusting the cooking time. If you're using legs, I'd recommend 50 minutes. At 40 minutes it wasn't quite done yet, according to my meat thermometer. I left it in the oven for another 15 minutes, and it blew past done. It wasn't dry though, which was fortunate! Even reheated the next day for lunch, it was still tender.
Quick tip: I forgot I didn't have a fresh bottle of ketchup, so I substituted with ketchup packets. So in a pinch, 2 packets of ketchup is about 1 tablespoon.
Garlic Chicken Wings by Leeann and Katie Chin
- 12 chicken wings (I used three chicken legs)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup (or 8 ketchup packets)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I finely minced two cloves)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (I added a few dashes of ground ginger)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (table salt)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
1. Cut the chicken wings at the joints to make 3 pieces. Reserve the tips to use in broth.
2. In a small bowl, mix the vegetable oil, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, ginger, salt and sugar. Pour over the wings and marinate 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Minimum marinating time: 30 minutes.
I marinate inside a ziploc bag for ease of cleanup later.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F.
4. Line a shallow roasting pan (I used a 8x8 Pyrex) with foil for easy cleanup. Add the chicken to the pan, and bake 40-55 minutes, or when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part, without hitting the bone, hits 180 degrees.
Really simple, basic ingredients, super easy, super yummy.
There were three legs... um... we ate one pretty quickly after it came out of the oven. We couldn't help ourselves.