My mom is an amazing cook. Everything she makes is delicious. Since moving to the suburbs, having a family, and wanting to cook for them, I’ve tried to learn her recipes. Most Chinese moms (at least the ones I know) don’t write down recipes, they cook from memory. The direction I get from my mom on how to cook Chinese food is a list of ingredients and some order of instruction. From there, I reference cookbooks and do A LOT of recipe testing to get things to taste exactly how she makes them.
When I found out about the Lucky Rice Cookbook I had to order because I’ve followed author Danielle Chang for some time and knew her Chinese culinary roots were similar to mine. I fell in love with this cookbook just leafing through the pages. It is a valuable addition to my collection because it provides the written recipes to the Chinese and Asian recipes I’ve always wanted to cook.
Danielle Chang’s team gave me permission to share one of my favorite recipes from the Lucky Rice Cookbook, Sichuanese Chicken Wings. These chicken wings have so much flavor with an added kick from the hot chiles…yumm-my.
Serves 4 to 6
3 lbs chicken wings, split in half, wing tips removed (optional)
2 tablespoons crushed red chile flakes
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Sichuanese peppercorns
1 star anise pod
1 cup dried red Chinese chiles
1 1-inch knob fresh ginger, julienned
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 400˚F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the chicken wings out on it. Sprinkle them generously with salt. I used Himalayan pink salt to pack in as many minerals.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the wings are golden brown and crisp. Drain off the fat and transfer the wings to the a serving bowl.
In a cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the red chile flakes, cumin seeds, Sichuanese peppercorns, and star anise, shaking the pan constantly, until the spices are toasty and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Immediately pour them into a bowl to stop the cooking. Cool slightly, and then grind to a powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Pour the ground spice mixture on top of the chicken wings and toss with your hands (best tools in the kitchen).
In the same dry skillet, toast the dried chiles, shaking the pan constantly, until they are darken in color and smell fragrant, 3 minutes. Then add the toasted whole chiles and the julienned ginger on top of the chicken wings.
To serve, toss the wings, spices, and ginger with your hands. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve at once.
If you love these Sichuanese Chicken Wings as much as I do, go and buy a copy of Danielle Chang’s Lucky Rice Cookbook and see her other amazing recipes.
The Dumpling Mama xo