The chicken wing is made up of 3 sections: drumette, flat/wingette, and tip.
The tip isn’t really edible as it is mostly just skin and is more often used to make chicken stock. My mom even tells me to avoid the tip at all cost as she has been told by somebody that it contains the “poison”. She’s not referring to something that is instantly fatal but she calls anything that could be cancerous or unlucky to be a “poison”. As usual, I only take it with a grain of salt and keep it in the back of my mind to research later and then educate her.
My favorite part and most probably for other people too is the flat. The meat is juicier than the drumette, cooks easier, and absorbs flavor better too. For this recipe, only the flat and drumette will be used and not the tip. Most grocery stores sell the wing pre-cut into just flats and drumettes. But sometimes there’s a fantastic deal that comes along selling the whole wing. It’s not hard to separate them into their individual sections but you will need a sharp knife to make the job done easier. Simply find the joint with your fingers and cut in the middle of the joint with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. It should slide through easily and if it doesn’t, then you are snipping through the bone and that may leave bone shards at the ends.
There are many chicken wing recipes out there and they can be made in many ways. I like to use this pan fry technique that my mom taught me as it is easy to execute and the sauce is flavorful. The sauce used here is a common Asian sauce mix that is house-made. It uses readily available ingredients and creates an incredible umami flavor profile for these wings.
Serves: 2 (about 4-5 pieces per serving)
Preparation time: 10-20 mins
Cooking time: 17-20 mins
- Chicken wings cut up into its pieces – drumettes and flats
- Sugar 1 tsp
- Soy sauce 2 tsp
- Oyster sauce 2 tsp
- Sesame oil 1 tsp
- Water 1 tsp
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Vegetable or canola oil
- large mixing bowl
- small bowl for the sauce
- 10-12″ frying pan/skillet with lid (if no lid, use a make shift aluminum foil cover) or a wok with lid
- sharp knife/kitchen shears and cutting board if your wings were not pre-cut
- Cut the wings into its pieces if they aren’t already. You can discard the tips or save them for making chicken stock. Inspect for small feathers (usually found on the flats) and cut off with a knife, which is optional if you don’t mind the feathers.
- Clean the drumettes and flats under water and dry them with paper towels in a large mixing bowl.
- Start heating up your pan to medium-high heat. On an electric stove, that translates to about 5.5 out of 10.
- Mix the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and water in a small bowl. Set that aside for later use in Step 10.
- When the pan is hot, season the drumettes and flats with black pepper with even distribution. Lightly season with salt and garlic powder.**
- Coat a thin layer of oil on the pan’s surface. Add the drumettes first in the center of the pan or wherever is hottest as they take longer to cook than the flats. You should hear a sizzle if the pan is hot enough. Cover with lid and time for 2 minutes. **
- After 2 mins, add the flats skin side down and cover with lid. Time for 9 minutes.
- After 9 mins, remove the lid and flip the flats to the other side. There should have been a nice brown color on the skin side. For the drumettes, simply roll them to a non-browned side. Cover with lid and time for 4 minutes.
- After 4 mins, remove lid and roll the drumettes to another non-browned side. You don’t have to do anything more to the flats since they don’t have anymore sides to flip to. Time for 2 minutes.
- After 2 mins, remove the lid and add the sauce over the chicken. Let the sauce reduce uncovered until it starts to look sticky, which may take another 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low (2/10 on an electric stove). While the sauce is reducing, flip the chicken around in the sauce to get more coverage on all sides.
- Serve with rice and a plain vegetable side.**
- I use garlic powder instead of raw garlic cloves to avoid overcooking the garlic clove. But feel free to use roughly chop up some garlic if that’s what you have and add it to pan a little bit before adding the sauce.
- In Step 5, the chicken should be lightly salted due to the salty nature of the sauce that will be added later on.
- In Step 6, the drumettes are added first to give them a head start in the cooking as the me0at closer to the bone takes longer to cook. You may need additional timing (3-5 mins for the drumettes if they are much larger. Keep a close watch on the protruding end bone on the side with more meat to see if there’s any redness. Sometimes I wished I could make the flats only to avoid this drumette problem, but alas, drums always come with the package.
- When serving, you want the sides to be on the plainer side to balance the intense umami flavor of the chicken wings.
- If the flats are cooked well enough, a gentle bite on the joint of the flats should be enough to separate the bones and allow for easier eating of the juicy interior.
- Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for no more than 2-3 days. Simply microwave to reheat.
- If you have any leftover sauce, you can use that for flavoring other types of stir-fry meats.