Sweet-Sour Rendang Chicken Wings (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)
Sweet-Sour Rendang Chicken Wings may seem a little exotic when you first skim the recipe but the ingredients are readily available in mainstream supermarkets and the many ethnic grocery stores in Central Florida. This month Orlando Sentinel food journalist Lauren Delgado continues the long tradition of celebrating our culinary diversity with the posting of the updated annual Ethnic Grocery Guide, your online shopping assistant for exploring the endless variety of global flavors, aromas and menu inspirations. Before you begin your exotic excursion, try today’s recipe for spicy, no-fry chicken wings that are marinated in Rendang Curry, a rich, fragrant and mildly spicy blend of chilies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, coriander and turmeric. The result is a Southeast Asian twist to traditional hot wings. Then, let’s all go shopping!
Sweet-Sour Rendang Chicken Wings
Yield: 6 servings
2 pounds chicken wing pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Rendang Curry, divided (recipe follows)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves (see note)
3 fresh Thai bird’s eye chilies, thinly sliced, divided (see note)
1 1/2 tablespoons sliced fresh lemongrass (1/2-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cucumber, cut into spears
1. Heat oven to 400F. Coat wings with 1/2 cup of the Rendang Curry in large bowl. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight for extra flavor.
Arrange chicken wings in single layer on foil-lined large shallow baking pan sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking.
2. Bring water, sugar, lime leaves, 2 of the thinly sliced chilies, lemongrass and remaining 1 tablespoon Rendang Curry to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Remove lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir in lime juice.
3. Place wings in large bowl with the lemongrass lime syrup; toss to coat well. Sprinkle with remaining 1 thinly sliced chile and peanuts. Serve immediately with cucumber spears.
Recipe notes: Kaffir lime leaves are the highly perfumed leaves of a Southeast Asian citrus fruit. They provide a fragrant, citrus flavor to rice, soups, stews, stir-fries and curry dishes. The leaves can be purchased fresh, dried or frozen in Asian markets or online specialty stores. Thai bird’s eye chilies are small hot chilies commonly found in Southeast Asia. If unavailable, substitute with chilies de arból or fresh cayenne peppers.
Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups or 20 (2-tablespoon) servings.
6 green onions, trimmed of root ends
3 stalks fresh lemongrass, removed of outer layers and trimmed to white fleshy part
2 red bell peppers, stemmed and seeded
2 heads of garlic, all cloves peeled
3 1/2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled
1/3 cup coconut sugar (see note)
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate paste (see note)
2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet ground organic Saigon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet crushed organic red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet ground turmeric
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet ground organic coriander
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian sea salt
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet ground organic cloves
1. Place all ingredients in food processor; cover. Process until almost smooth.
2. Store in clean, tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
Recipe notes: Coconut sugar is made from sap extracted from the coconut tree. It tastes somewhat similar to brown sugar with a hint of caramel. It can be found in the organic and baking aisles of the supermarket. Tamarind concentrate or paste is a thick fruit pulp that is tart, slightly sweet and fruity. It is popular in Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Latin American cuisines. It is used to flavor dishes, and to make candies, condiments and beverages.
SOURCE: MCCORMICK & CO.