I love holidays. Tons of restaurants and press agencies send me recipes. This is one I particularly liked. It comes from ultra trendy, ultra popular Spice Market in New York. Chef Anthony Ricco’s Thai fried chicken wings are made with red finger chiles and red Thai chiles (this means they are not for wimps). They are paired with a refreshing salted mango to extinguish the heat.
¼ cup grape seed, corn, or other neutral oil
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
¼ cup thinly sliced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped dried red finger chiles
½ fresh red Thai chile
One ¼-inch piece fresh galangal, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
1/8 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste)
1 ½ tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¾ teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pounds chicken mini drumsticks from chicken wings, separated at joint
1 ripe mango, cut into 1-inch slices
2 teaspoons salt
Grape seed, corn, or other neutral oil for deep-frying
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup rice flour
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1. To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until they become a deep golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
2. Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Puree carefully until smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
3. To make the wings: Put the soy sauce, lime juice, nam pla, garlic, chiles, and sugar in a
medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cool completely, then pour over the mini drumsticks in a shallow baking dish and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, toss the mango cubes with the salt in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
5. When ready to cook, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a heavy, deep pot and heat to 375°F. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and pat dry. Combine the cornstarch and rice flour on a shallow plate. Dredge the chicken in the mixture, then carefully put in the pot. Do not overcrowd; work in batches if necessary. Cook until crisp, brown, and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil’s temperature.
6. Drain on paper towels and transfer to the bowl of hot-and-sour sauce. Toss well to coat and transfer to the serving plates. Arrange the salted mango in a little mound next to the chicken, garnish with the mint leaves, and serve.