Chicken wings (for that matter duck’s wings as well) which are not highly regarded in the West and hence inexpensive, are a Chinese gourmet’s delight. Try this recipe, but remember not to chop off the pinions.
2pounds or 12chicken wings
10 turns white pepper mill
3garlic cloves, crushed
3slicesfresh ginger, each about ¼inch thick, peeled and bruised
3scallions, cut into 2-inch sections, white and green parts separated
8 segments (1 whole) star anise
1½inchescinnamon stick, crushed into bits
1tablespoonShaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
3½tablespoonsthick soy sauce or 2tablespoonsthick soy and 2tablespoonsoyster sauce
Pat dry the chicken wings. Sprinkle over with the salt and pepper and leave to stand for about 30 minutes.
Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic and stir, then add the ginger and white scallions and stir to release their aroma. Add the star anise and cinnamon and stir a few more times, adjusting the heat so as not to burn the condiments. Add the chicken wings to brown gently with the condiments for about 5 minutes, turning them over frequently with the wok scoop or metal spatula. Splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok. When the sizzling subsides, pour in the well-stirred sauce.
Bring the sauce to a boil. Place the lid on the wok and continue to cook over a low to medium heat for 30 minutes, if you like the meat to be tender but firm, or for 60 minutes if you prefer it to be falling off the bones. In either case, turn the wings over halfway through the cooking time for even cooking and coloring. It may be necessary to add 3-4tablespoons water if you choose the longer cooking period.
Remove the lid. Turn up the heat and add the green scallions. Spoon the sauce in the wok over the wings continuously for 1-2 minutes. This reducing process enriches the taste and gives the sauce a slight glazing effect. Remove to a serving platter and serve hot.