Chicken wing tips and mid-joints are often left unappreciated. It is basically bones wrapped in skin with a few miserable strands of meat at best. However, these winglets do have high skin/fat content which are perfect for frying, baking, and even grilling as the fats from skin would leave a crispy and fragrant layer when cooked.
This next dish that I am introducing is a Thai dish. The Thais have cleverly elevated this often under-explored winglet and brought it to another level of classy refinement. If you have not guessed, I am talking about Stuffed Chicken Wings, or Peek Kai Yad Sai. Honestly speaking, I have no idea what Peek Kai Yad Sai means. It is a romanised translation of the Thai language. If I have it wrong, please forgive me. However, it doesn't stop me from appreciating this wonderful dish.
The winglets (without drummets) are deboned and then stuffed with pork and other ingredients to give it a sophisticated twist and taste. It is then deep-fried until crispy. The tip of the wings would make a perfect handle for you to hold your chicken. And when you bite into the stuffed wings, you would experience a mouthful of juicy tender meat plus many more flavours inside. And all boneless too! How neat!
Deboning the wings would take some time initially but I assure you, once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy. Insert a pairing knife into the mid-joint to cut away the meat or tendon that sticks to the bones. Then gently pull the skin layer down until it reaches other end of the bone. If you have trouble pulling the skin down, use the pairing knife to cut around the bones again. Give the two bones a snap and it will come off easily. Do it gently so that you do not tear off the skin that would be later used to wrap the filling.
Thai Stuffed Chicken Wings/Peek Kai Yad Sai 泰式酿鸡翼
Makes 26-28 medium chicken wings
28 chicken winglets, deboned
oil for frying
toothpicks for sealing chicken
Thai chilli sauce for dipping
300 g finely minced pork
1 sprig of coriander, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece wood ear, sliced
100 g water chestnut (or replace with jicama)
20 g glass/cellophane noodles
2 tbsp tapioca starch
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
1 bird's eye chilli, minced (optional)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1. Prepare filling. Add all ingredients for filling and seasoning together. Mix thoroughly. Lift and throw filling back to the bowl until filling becomes springy and sticky 起胶. Keep in refrigerator until needed.
3. Fill winglets with filling and seal by sewing it together with a piece of toothpick. Repeat until all are done.
4. Heat oil to high temperature and fry winglets until golden brown. Remove and drain thoroughly before serving. Serve with Thai chilli sauce for best taste.
For crispier wings, dip the stuffed chicken wings in some egg and then coat with breadcrumbs before frying.