Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun with Chicken!

Like most people, I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken. About a year ago I bought the Food Network All-Stars Cookbook. It features various recipes from some of the top Food Network chefs. I have to admit, I haven't found many of the recipes useful or accessible to us as a busy working couple, but there is one that we have used over and over again. It literally is the easiest thing that I make, and is a really fun alternative to your standard chicken meal. It would also work perfectly for a game-day menu.

Spicy Chinese Five-Spice-Rubbed Chicken

Wings with Creamy

Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman from Food Network Favorites: Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs, Meredith Books, 2005

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
25 min
40 wings


  • 40 chicken wing pieces or 20 whole chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

If you have whole chicken wings, cut off wingtips and cut the wings in half at the joint. Discard wingtips or freeze to make stock.

Place the wings in a large bowl. Sprinkle five-spice powder and cayenne on the wings; add generous pinches of salt and about 15 grinds of black pepper. Rub the mixture into all the wings until no more loose rub remains.

Line the wing pieces up on a baking sheet so the side of the wing that has the most skin is facing up. Roast until cooked through, browned and crispy, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce.

Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup light sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients to incorporate them fully and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: about 1 cup

My Own Tips:

  • I buy the "party wings" in the supermarket. They are already the correct size and it is so much easier than splitting the wings yourself.
  • The Cilantro dipping sauce is so essential to this dish so at least try it. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, but I love this sauce, and it goes perfectly with the spice on the wings.
  • If you've never tried Chinese Five Spice, it is a must-try! I had never used it until I started making this recipe and now I am always on the lookout for new ways to use it. It is so unique! It is available right in the regular grocery store.
  • I use this dish often as my main course for dinner with a salad to go with it. There's something so fun and relaxed about eating your dinner with your hands and making a mess (or maybe that's just me!). Food and laughter go together, so my husband and I find no shortage of giggles when eating chicken wings!
  • For a household of two, these recipes always make a little more than we can eat (not to say we don't try!), so I go ahead and season all the wings, and when my baking sheet is filled, I put the rest of the seasoned chicken wings in a Ziploc, and place in the fridge to cook in the next couple days. We always have leftover cilantro sauce too, so we're able to use that with our second batch of wings. All I have to do is throw them in the oven when I'm ready, and dinner is done!

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