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Aug 9, 2010 02:42 PM

Three Ingredients! -- Soy Chicken Wings

Aunt Lou's Chicken Wings

This recipe comes from my Great Aunt Lou -- my father's aunt. She was one of the three Jacques girls, the sister of my Grandmaman. Louvalmine was her name. She married my Uncle John, whom I will never meet.

I've heard great stories about Lou and John. They were fancy, wealthy, grand people who stayed at the Georges V in Paris. There are fairy tales in my mind about these people -- stories of drunken binges, lovers, and traveling on big beautiful ships.

The most tangible thing that I retain from Aunt Lou is her very humble chicken wing recipe.

No one will be scared away by the number of ingredients in this dish. Impossible! There are only three. Soy sauce, vodka, and chicken wings.

It is almost unbelievable that three such unassuming ingredients could join together to create something so stickily delectable and pleasing.

I was busy in the kitchen, preparing to flip the wings, when A. waltzed in following the salty sweet aroma.

What is it about roasting chicken that makes it smell so much like baked sweets? The house smelled like I had a cake in the oven -- which never happens!

I let him know that these weren't for his dinner. He was rather disappointed when he learned that I was cooking chicken (he generally won't touch the fowl). He insisted that he would try one -- just one.

And he did! He quipped, that there was no denying that these wings sure are tasty.

And he's right. There is no denying it. After two and a half hours of cooking, the liquid reduces down to a sticky salty glaze, and the wings are irresistible. The sauce is so syrupy that any paper napkin use will result in little white paper adhesions on your fingers.

I used party wings this time, which apparently means that the drumette and mid-joint wing or wingette have been separated. You can use whole chicken wings or just drumettes or party wings, whatever looks good at the market. And there really is no need to get fancy with the vodka -- a Smirnoff-type will do just fine.

This recipe requires next to no work at all. You'll need about two or two and a half hours cooking time though, so plan ahead. A bowl of rice and perhaps a vinegary cucumber salad would be the perfect accompaniments to this simple, yet satisfying dish.

And good news! These are a hit with little Fe. All the alcohol cooks out of the vodka, so don't worry!

Aunt Lou's Chicken Wings

2 packages chicken wings -- or enough to fill up a good-sized baking dish
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vodka

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the chicken wings in a large baking dish that just holds them; pyrex works well. Mix the vodka and soy sauce together. Pour over the chicken. Place in the oven.

Turn the wings every 30 minutes. Bake until the liquid is reduced to a sticky glaze, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If there is a little bit of liquid left to spoon over rice, that's nice too.

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  1. Do these wings get crispy? The recipe looks good and I'm wondering if I can adapt it to the slow cooker.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dream_of_giusti

      It doesn't sound like they'd be crisp, nor could they be in a slow cooker. From an old Frugal Gourmet show where he was visiting a friend in Europe, whose "recipe" for roast chicken was this: mix equal parts soy sauce, honey, and toasted sesame oil, then baste chicken with it while roasting. It yields a very brown, crisp, delicious skin and works well with parts too.

      1. re: dream_of_giusti

        Sorry, for the late response! I was out of town. The wings don't really get crispy. They develop a really delicious, sticky glaze that I can't imagine would actually result if cooking these in a slow cooker. They wings would probably braise in the slow cooker and the sking would likely be loose and unappealing. Sorry!

        1. re: jacqueline f

          Soy sauce, orange juice, chicken wings, similar result, nice sticky glaze on tender delicious wings. I marinate them first for a day or so. No crispy skin, but who cares, they're so good.

        2. re: dream_of_giusti

          We've tried something similar in the crockpot and it ended up soupy.

        3. That technique sounds wonderfully easy-- I'm so excited to hear about it! Since the skin doesn't get crisp, have you ever tried with skinless chicken? Have you ever tried any other kind of booze?

          1. this sounds yum, but does anyone have tips on how to make this skins a little crispy?

            1 Reply
            1. Tried these and they are excellent. The sticky glaze is ideal for my tastes; I've never understood the desire for crispy wings. I'm quite turned off when ordering wings in a restaurant and receiving these crispy things where they just dumped on the sauce of your choice. Needless to say, I prefer to make them at home and just love experimenting with ingredients. My sister tried a similar one to this that was also 3 ingredients - tequila, lime and soy sauce (well 4 ingredients including the wings!)