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Make These Sweet and Spicy Wings for a Taste of Fall
Timon Balloo of Fort Lauderdale's The Katherine wants you to think beyond Buffalo
The unofficial end of summer, is upon us. After a long, hot summer, most of us are looking forward to cooler evenings, the colors of fall, and football.
Fall also means a change in what we eat. Instead of cold salads and fruit platters, our tastes turn to comfort foods and game day snacks. One undeniable crowd pleaser is a big platter of chicken wings.
And, while Buffalo wings are king, Timon Balloo likes his wings to have a sweet and spicy tang to them.
The chef-owner of The Katherine Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and partner at Sugarcane Raw Bar Gril in Las Vegas and Miami, likes his wings to have elements of sweet, smoky, and umami. At the Katherine, his describes his wing sauce as almost a hybrid of teriyaki and classic barbecue. “Almost like Generao Tso’s meets barbecue,” says Balloo. “Buffalo wings are classic, but they don’t have the elements I’m looking for in a satisfying wing. I like sauce that has more character and dimension.”
Balloo’s sauce is deceptively simple to make, yet packs a world of flavor. The chef prefers Murray’s chicken wings, but admits a batch of party wings from your local market work just as well. “With supply shortages of wings, I’ve learned to adapt,” says the chef. Whatever wings you work with, Balloo says to make sure you brine the wings for at least overnight.
Instead of serving wings with ranch or blue cheese dressing, Balloo opts to pair his with housemade pickles and crudite. “We live in that barbecuish world of salt, heat, sour, and sweetness,” he says. Balloo recommends cucumber spears, lightly pickled jalapenos, and some large lettuce leaves. “I like to tear some of the meat off the bone and wrap it in the leaves for a change,” he says.
In the summer, Balloo will also finish the wings with some lime juice, for a pop of brightness.
Finally, the chef suggests pairing your wings with the quintessential autumn beverage. “As we enter Fall, a dry cider would be great.” A strong IPA is another option, says the chef, adding, “Anything with bubbles helps to cut through all that fat.”
Next time you’re in Fort Lauderdale, grab some wings at the Katherine, or make them at home this weekend with the following recipe.
The Katherine’s Sweet and Tangy Chicken Wings
16-20 pieces Jumbo Party Wings, cleaned
1 batch brine (recipe below)
1 cup flour
1 cup corn starch
64 ounces vegetable oil
Wing sauce (recipe below)
Pickles, jalapenos, lettuce, crudites for garnish (optional)
Marinate wings in brine overnight for 24 hours.
When ready to cook heat oil in a large frying pot until an instant-read thermometer registers 350°F.
While oil is heating, remove wings and pat dry. Toss wings in flour and corn starch mixture and allow wings to sit in the mix for 2 to 3 minutes, which assures a firm coating of breading.
Pat off excess coating and carefully place in pot cooking until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165°F (approximately 6-8 minutes depending on wing size).
Remove wings from oil and toss with wing sauce, serve with desired garnish.
32 ounces water
4 ounces salt
4 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
Heat water and add ingredients stirring to dissolve. Cool and reserve.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki glaze
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
Heat ingredients in a small saucepan over low stirring to dissolve sugar and spices (4 to five minutes).