A year or two ago, my family and I ate these sublime Chicken Lollipops (made from chicken wings) at a restaurant in New York City. They were crispy on the outside and soft and gooey inside. The crust was spicy and strongly flavored with ginger and garlic and served with a sweet and sour sauce. They were so good that after we polished off the first plate of these in a minute flat and promptly ordered another one! Unlike the usual Buffalo wings, which are messy to eat, these chicken wings were beautifully presented – with the bone sticking out (perfect handle to hold and eat as a party finger food) and all the meat was gathered at the other end and each bite was delicious and juicy. I then came home back to DC and started to experiment with various ingredients to replicate this scrumptious preparation and after a few attempts or should I say some basic trial and error this is what I came up with –
1. 3 lbs of Chicken wings (preferably only the drumette part) – with the skin-on!
2. One egg (yolk only)
3. 2 tablespoons of corn starch
4. 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
5. One tablespoon of rice vinegar
6. One inch long fresh ginger root
7. 5-6 garlic cloves
8. Salt to taste
9. One tablespoon of vegetable oil for the marinade and 3-4 cups of oil for deep frying.
10. One tablespoon of Sriracha sauce
11. 4-5 tablespoons of cold water for the marinade
Directions for Cooking:
1. Wash and pat dry all the chicken wings (using paper towels).
2. For each of the chicken wings, using a sharp boning knife, push all the flesh of the chicken drumette along the bone, towards the thicker end of the chicken wing (see picture). This gives the wing a lollipop shape, with the head of the lollipop being the meaty juicy part and the bone being the stick of the pop.
3. Keep the shaped drumettes aside and before you start the marinade, pour the cooking oil into a large container and start heating the oil for deep frying on medium heat. Make sure that the oil is not more than half way up the depth of the pot because when you fry, the oil expands and also bubbles and you don’t want it to bubble over or cause any burn injuries.
5. While the oil is heating, mix the following in a large mixing bowl – one yolk, ginger and garlic paste, Srirach sauce, salt, corn starch, rice vinegar, one tablespoon of cooking oil, 4-5 tablespoons of cold water. This marinade should have a consistency where it coats the chicken wings but not too thickly. If it looks too runny, add a little bit more flour.
6. Dip the drumettes in this marinade and slowly put them into the hot oil one by one. Do not crowd the pot – just fry 4-5 of them at a time.