This is one of the dishes I fall back on when "what's for dinner?" is the last thing on my mind. The wings take all of 30mins to braise and are great with the kids because of the scrumptious gravy. My "secret" ingredient is a splash of brandy, which you can substitute with rice wine. It gives the gravy 'kick'.
The nice uncle at the wet market sold me these wings at $0.40 each ... special price (others pay $0.60 each) cos I always make the effort to chat with him and his wife. Haha, EQ gets you privileges! When it comes to cooking poultry, I never buy frozen. Doesn't matter if I am cooking for curries or stews or roasts. It has to be fresh. All the Health Promotion Board's propaganda about frozen being the same just doesn't work on me. Hee hee.
Anyway, this is a very easy dish, using ingredients you probably already have at home.
Braised Chicken Wings
-10 chicken wings (separated at joint)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp soya sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee, which is less salty than other brands like Tiger)
- 2 tbsp dark sauce
- Pinch of salt (omit, if you are using a brand of more salty soy sauce)
- A few drops of sesame oil
- A splash of brandy
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 1 thumb-size ginger
- 1 small rice bowl of water
- 1 small lump of rock sugar
Take the wings out of the fridge, wash and place them into a heavy stainless steel pot. A heavy, thick pot is essential if you want to braise without burning. Add in all the ingredients except the bowl of water and the lump of sugar. Leave the wings to marinate in the pot for about 30mins. Do not place it back into the fridge if you are going to start braising soon. You need to 'take the chill off the meat' before cooking, else you will end up with very tough meat.
I normally marinate the wings at room temperature so that they won't be too chilled when I'm ready to cook. That said, if you do want to marinate your wings longer, then yes, place them back into the fridge, but remember to leave them out for at least 15mins to take the chill off before cooking.
When you are ready braise, add the bowl of water into the pot and cook over a medium flame. Once you reach a boil, cover the pot and turn to a very low flame. Let the wings simmer in a very gentle boil for 30mins. If your flame is too big, your wings will start disintegrating and you'll end up with a very unappetising-looking dish. The skin of the chicken should be intact and glistening in the sauce, while the meat inside remains tender and moist.
When the dish is about done, add in the lump of rock sugar. Braise for an additional 2-3 mins and turn off the flame, with the pot covered. Use only rock sugar, not refined sugar. Rock sugar thickens the gravy without sweetening it as refined sugar would. Serve with fluffy white rice.
Optional (to make it a one-dish meal). Add:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Potatoes (cut into chunks)
- Tau kwa