Fried chicken wings with coleslaw milk

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 50 gm each fine sea salt and caster sugar
  • 1 kg free-range chicken wings, cut into drumettes and tips
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 200 ml light soy sauce
  • For dusting: cornflour
  • To serve: hot sauce such as sriracha (see note)
  •  
  • Coleslaw milk
  • ½ Savoy cabbage, shredded on a mandolin
  • 2 carrots, shredded on a mandolin
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 500 gm good-quality mayonnaise
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 4 gm agar-agar (see note)
01   Bring salt, sugar and 1 litre water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, set aside to cool completely. Place chicken wings in a non-reactive container, pour over brine, cover and refrigerate to brine (2-3 hours).
02   Meanwhile, for coleslaw milk, combine cabbage, carrot, onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl, season to taste, toss to combine, cover, set aside to marinate (1-2 hours). Squeeze coleslaw to yield 400ml liquid, discard solids and remaining liquid. Combine agar-agar and coleslaw liquid in a small saucepan, blend with a hand-held blender, then, whisking continuously, bring to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, pour into a 15cm x 20cm tray, refrigerate until set (1 hour). Transfer to a blender, blend until a smooth gel forms, refrigerate until required.
03   Heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 160C. Drain wings, pat dry with absorbent paper, toss in soy sauce and set aside to marinate (5 minutes). Pat dry with absorbent paper, dust in cornflour then deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain and set aside on a wire rack until dry (30-40 minutes).
04   Heat oil to 190C. Deep-fry wings in batches until golden and crisp (1-2 minutes), season to taste and serve hot with coleslaw milk and hot sauce.
Note Sriracha hot sauce is available from Asian grocers. If unavailable, substitute another hot sauce. Agar-agar, a setting agent derived from seaweed, is available from health-food shops.

This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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