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Another Momofuku Success: Chicken Wings with Octo Vinaigrette


Those of you who read my post last week about Momofuku’s Ginger Scallion Noodles [2] have probably already figured out that I did succumb and buy the book.  And, I’m so glad I did!  Even if I never make one more recipe from it, it was still worth the price.  It’s a beautiful book and a very entertaining read.

I saw this recipe for baked chicken wings [3] a few weeks ago on Steamy Kitchen’s [4] site, and it sang to me. (I love it when that happens!)  I almost always bake my wings instead of frying them, and honestly, I like them better that way.  Plus, it’s a lot less messy!  Who wants to spend their time sopping up an oil slick on their stove, not to mention figuring out an appropriate way to dispose of a vat of dirty, used, hot oil?  I’d rather be watching Simon skewer fresh-faced pop star wannabes on American Idol [5] or finding out who gets “auffed” on Project Runway [6].  (By the way, pouring said oil down the garbage disposal is NOT an appropriate way to dispose of it.  Don’t ask me how I know this. Just trust me.)


Anyway, this chicken wing recipe is not technically right out of Momofuku.   Those wings are brined, steamed, and then fried in duck fat.  I knew that was never happening in my kitchen, even if I did have the time.  Unfortunately, duck fat isn’t a stock item at my local Publix, or anywhere else in town for that matter – and believe me, I’ve looked!   So, for the time being, I’ll just have to dream about Momofuku’s wings and live vicariously through those of you brave souls who have made them for yourself.

I’m not complaining, though. (Well, maybe just a little.) Because, these baked wings are fantastic!  Their fabulosity comes from Momofuku’s signature Octo Vinaigrette. This vinaigrette was originally designed as an accompaniment for grilled octopus (Octo! Get it?), but it is amazing  in lots of other things too.  It’s a quirky little mixture, because the oil to vinegar ratio is reversed.  Plus, it’s loaded with fresh garlic, ginger and hot chilies.  After coming out of the oven, those naked, baked chicken wings are utterly doused in it.  And, it is good stuff – really, really good stuff!


This is my new favorite way to prepare (and eat) chicken wings.  While, I’d love to try the original version some day, scarfing down a plate of these babies is certainly no hardship!  I’m definitely making them again for Super Bowl Sunday.  How about you?