Last night, we revealed one contender in The Hungry Mouse’s chicken wing duel: Lemon Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings. Tonight, we’d like to introduce the other.
This evening—in this corner, on the red plate—we have Chai Ginger Hot Wings. They spent an evening soaking in a bath of Chai tea, ginger, and Aleppo chili flakes. I patted them dry, coated them in sesame seeds and garlic, and roasted them ’til they were golden brown.
These wings were a huge hit at the Mouse House. The meat was moist, tender, and oh-so-succulent. The chili flakes, garlic, and sesame seeds on the crust provided an excellent savory balance to the sweet, honey-spiced meat.
So which wing won?
This was a close one. You tell us. Cast your vote at the bottom of the page.
Chai Ginger Hot Wings: A note about the chai
For this recipe, I used Oregon Chai Caffeine-Free Original Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, made with red tea, vanilla, spices, and honey.
With honey and evaporated cane juice listed high among the ingredients, I figured that if I added a fair amount of salt, this marinade would work kind of like a brine, making the chicken extra moist and juicy.
I also opted to use dry spices instead of fresh, so they’d have a better chance of standing toe-to-toe with the concentrated chai.
If you use a different brand of chai tea, you may have to fidget with the marinade ingredients, as your sugar content may be different than mine.
Chai Ginger Hot Wings
2 1/4 lbs. whole chicken wings
For the marinade
2 cups of chai tea concentrate
2 Tbls. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
1 Tbls. powdered garlic
For the wings
Aleppo chili flakes
Chai Ginger Hot Wings: The night before
Put the chicken wings in a gallon-sized zip-top bag.
Pour the chai tea in the bag over the wings.
Toss in the kosher salt.
Add the ginger, garlic powder, and Aleppo chili flakes.
Seal the bag up really well. (Check it twice.) Smoosh the bag around with your hands to mix the contents well. When the marinade is well combined, it should look about like this:
Squeeze most of the air out of the bag and seal it well. Stick it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Chai Ginger Hot Wings: The next day
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and/or parchment paper.
Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge.
Take each wing out of the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. If you give one a sniff at this point, it should smell like delightfully fragrant chai, and not at all like raw chicken.
Put the dried wings on your prepared sheet pan. Some of the chili flakes might still be stuck to the wings. That’s just fine.
Mist the wings lightly with a little spray oil.
Sprinkle the wings evenly with sesame seeds, garlic powder, Aleppo chili flakes, and kosher salt to taste.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees. The final cooking time will depend on how big your wings are.
They’re done when the chicken skin is brown and crisp, and the juices run clear. The tips of the wings should just be starting to darken. They should look about like this:
Right when they come out of the oven, sprinkle with a little kosher salt if you like.
Transfer to a platter with tongs and serve hot.
Cast your vote
Each wing had its moments. Like a lot of close fights, this bout has to go to decision. What do you think?
Lemon Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings vs. Chai Ginger Hot Wings