Chongqing “Tingling” Chicken Wings with Hoisin Orange Sauce
5 lb whole chicken wings
4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp whole fennel seed
1 tbsp whole coriander seed
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cumin seed
1 tsp granulated sugar
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp honey
1/3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sambal or sriracha
1 pinch salt
Rice bran oil for deep-frying
1 cup whole dried red chilies
1 tbsp rice bran oil
Cilantro sprigs
For the Wings
If you are using whole chicken wings, remove the tips (discard or save for another use) and separate the flats from the drums. Rinse well, then drain and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Toss to coat evenly with the salt and let sit while making spice mix.
For the Spice Mix
In a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat, toast the whole spices until fragrant - take care not to burn them. Grind to a fine powder using a spice grinder. Pass ground spices through a mesh sieve to remove any large pieces. Add sugar and kosher salt to taste
For the Sauce
Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
For cooking the Wings
Using a deep-fryer or large pot, heat rice bran oil to 375F. Fry chicken in small batches until skin is deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes (times will vary depending on the size of chicken wings). Fry until the meat is just cooked through - they will cook a bit further while resting. Remove from the oil onto a sheet tray lined with a rack, and immediately season both sides liberally with the spice mix. Add salt to taste.
Keep finished batches of chicken warm in a 250F oven until ready to serve.
To Serve
Quickly sauté the whole dried chilies in a teaspoon of rice bran oil for a few seconds, tossing constantly until shiny (take care not to blacken them). You can serve the sauce on the side or toss it with the chicken in a bowl until all the pieces are coated (leave the peppers separate). Turn onto a warm platter and garnish with peppers and cilantro sprigs.