Super crispy salt and pepper chicken wings contain a burst of flavors from mix of three peppercorns which add their own signatures to these crispy fried salt and pepper chicken wings!
After making hundreds of chicken wings recipe, I was under the impression that no new chicken wings recipe can surprise me ever again until that bubble is busted when these crazily delicious salt and pepper chicken wings entered my life! We all know that chicken wings are good; actually, great but today’s salt and pepper chicken wings do not even fit into the ‘great’ category, they truly belong to another genre of deliciousness altogether and you only need to experience this crazy stuff to actually understand what I am talking about. Seriously, you cannot wait any longer to make these super-tasty salt and pepper chicken wings at home as they are childishly easy to make besides being so delish!
Now let me tell you about the real star of these salt and pepper chicken wings. Salt, as you know, acts as the taste extractor and rightly seasoned food is what we all seek for. But the primary flavor-enhancer of these salt and pepper chicken wings is the mix of three different peppercorns – black, white and Sichuan! You may already be aware of black and white peppers but the showstopper in this show is hands-down the Sichuan peppercorns! I used these Sichuan pepper for the very first time and is totally awed by the truckload of flavors it carries. These Sichuan peppercorns have a red hue and as you pound them in your mortar and pestle, your kitchen will be filled with exquisite aroma which will remind you of an authentic Chinese kitchen!
This recipe of salt and pepper chicken wings involves a little waiting time as you will need to chill the salt and pepper marinated chicken wings for some time in the refrigerator to ensure that the wings absorb maximum flavor; it will act as a dry brining. For best result, I would urge you to pound the whole peppercorns yourself in a mortar and pestle in stead of using the premade pepper powder. The refreshing as well as pungent aroma of freshly ground peppers is what makes these salt and pepper chicken wings extra-special. I used the Sichuan peppercorns for the very first time thanks to my friend who was gifted a packet of Sichuan peppers by her Chinese colleague and she assumed that being a food blogger I would be ecstatic to get my hands on it! I am happy to tell you that my friend wasn’t absolutely wrong! Since then I was looking for a recipe with best use of these cute little peppercorns where I can actually enjoy the peppery flavor in the final dish and voila! I got exactly what I was looking for in this salt and pepper chicken wings!
Once you let the chicken wings soak up the flavors of mixed peppers, you dip them in a thin batter of flour & corn starch and deep fry them in medium hot oil until they are golden and cooked through. This is the first fry of these salt and pepper chicken wings. Now comes the most exciting part which takes these crazy stuffs to the next level – the second fry! Once all your chicken wings are fried for the first time and kept aside, you crank up the heat of your oil letting it to come to smoking point. Then you drop your chicken wings back to the hot oil, few at a time, for just a minute or two. These final 2 minutes of deep-fry will crisp up the outer coating & the skin of the chicken wings making them totally addictive! Also, double frying the chicken wings ensure that they remain crispy for a longer time; hence these salt and pepper chicken wings happen to be a great choice for your next potluck party; trust me people will reach out more than you anticipate for these mind-blowing chicken wings, so go prepared!
- Sichuan peppercorn – 1 tbsp
- Black peppercorn – 1 tbsp
- White peppercorn – 1 tbsp
- Chicken wings – 16, approximately 1.2 kg
- Three pepper mix – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Garlic powder – 1 tbsp
- Corn starch – 1 cup
- All-purpose flour – ½ cup
- Chilled water as required
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Chili flakes – ½ tsp
- Take one tablespoon each of three peppercorns and put in your mortar and pestle. Ground the peppercorns to a coarse powder. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Cut each chicken wings into drumette, winglet and wing tip. Reserve the wing tips for chicken stocks and place rest in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle one tablespoon each of prepared pepper mix, salt and garlic powder over the chicken wings. Toss them to coat thoroughly or mix uniformly with hands. Then place them on top of a grilling rack in a single layer and let them chill in the refrigerator for couple of hours. This chilling time is important for maximum flavor; do not skip it.
- While you are ready to fry the chicken wings, prepare the batter by mixing the cornstarch/corn flour and all-purpose flour with chilled water to make a thin batter; the consistency should be like coconut milk. You won’t need to season the batter with salt as chicken wings have enough salt in them.
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep pot but do not bring it to smoking point, it should be medium hot – if you dip a wooden spoon into the oil, there should be some gentle bubbles around the spoon. If using a deep fryer or candy thermometer, then try to keep the oil temperature at about 150 C.
- Dip each chicken wings into the prepared batter, coat all sides thoroughly, lift it up and let the excess drip off. Then tip it in the hot oil. Fry them in batches and do not overcrowd the pan as it will result in soggy chicken wings.
- Keep the heat on medium-low and fry the wings for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they turn lightly golden but not brown. Take them out using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate.
- Once all the chicken wings are fried for the first time, crank up the heat and let the oil become very hot – a wooden spoon dipped into the oil should generate furious bubbles around it. Technically, the oil temperature should be somewhere between 175 C & 180 C.
- Tip in the chicken wings in batches and fry them for couple of minutes each side or until they turn deep golden and becomes extremely crispy. Take them out and place on a cooling rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.
- Finally mix 1 teaspoon each of prepared pepper mix & salt and half a teaspoon of red chili flakes in a small bowl. Hit the chicken wings on all sides with this flavored salt when there are still warm.
- Serve these fantastic delicious salt and pepper chicken wings with any hot sauce of your choice. Enjoy!