Chicken wings doused in sticky, spicy sauce are classic. Honey and sambal are a winning combination; the mild heat of the sambal plays nicely with the sweetness of the honey. If you like your wings more fiery, you can always add more sambal. You can certainly grill or deep-fry your wings, but baking them is easier and less fussy. In order to achieve a nice crispy skin, I dry-brined the wings with salt and baking soda (a tip I learned from Alton Brown) overnight in the fridge. Dry-brining and air-chilling help to draw out moisture, resulting in crispy wings (nobody likes soggy wings). Baking soda, which is alkaline, raises the pH and improves browning capabilities.
- Place a baking rack over a sheet pan. Wash the wings and pat them dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with the baking soda and salt. Place the wings in a single layer on the baking rack. Rest, uncovered in the refrigerator, overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the chicken wings from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature as your oven is preheating.
- Place the wings in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 20 minutes.
- While the wings are baking, make the sambal sauce. Mix all ingredients for the sambal sauce in a bowl. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
- When the wings are done, remove them from the oven and place them in a large bowl and toss with two thirds of the sambal sauce to coat.
- Transfer the wings to a serving plate, and spoon some more sauce on top of the wings. To serve, top with chopped chives and toasted sesame seeds.
Linda Schneider is a home cook who is obsessed with good food and all things local. Follow her adventures at Wild Greens and Sardines.