These Japanese style confit chicken wings are tasty in so many ways, coated in a sticky sweet sake sauce with a light hint of chilies.
I love chicken wings so much that I must find every possible way to cook them. Besides this Japanese confit chicken wings, I also have many other chicken wings related recipes on my blog. Like these crispy famous Bonchon wings or these super tasty twice cooked wings. Also, if you're a gluten-free eater, then you definitely can't skip these amazing gluten-free fried chicken wings.
These Japanese wings can definitely make their competitor Korean fried chicken wings feel insecure. Please keep reading you will know why.
This recipe is inspired by the famous Momofuku wings and was used in the previous restaurant I worked at. With that being said, these wings are 100% guaranteed to be tasty and super delicious.
So let's jump in and explore this amazing recipe, shall we?
What is confit?
Confit is a type of terrines though it's not made from traditional force meat. Confit can be meat or poultry (lightly salt-cured) slowly cooked in its own fat until very tender (not falling apart).
Generally, confit is served hot. Properly prepared confit can be kept and preserved in its own fat for several weeks under refrigeration.
How to make these confit chicken wings?
There are actually two cooking methods used to make these Japanese chicken wings. That explains why this recipe is very unique.
The wings first is baked in melted duck fat or neutral oil for an hour. Then they are transferred to fry on stove top and quickly coated with mirin-base sauce to finish.
First, dry-brine and confit chicken wings
- Lightly sprinkle chicken wings with salt and pepper and let them sit for at least an hour (maximum 5 hours).
- Place them in a clean roasting pan that is large enough to hold the wings in one layer.
- Submerge the wings completely in melted duck fat or neutral oil.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 300F until the wings are very tender (not falling apart), approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove wings from the fat and place them on a sheet tray. Strain the fat and pour them in a clean pot. The fat can be kept for up to a year (duck fat) or 2 weeks (other neutral oil).
Second, pan-fry and coat chicken wings with sauce
- Fry the wings, work in small batch, in a non-stick pan. Brown both sides of the wings, approximately 3-5 minutes each side. Don't need to use too much oil because the wings themselves have excessive amount of fat on them.
- Add the sauce, give a pan a few shakes.
- Transfer fried chicken wings to a serving bowl or plates. Add garnish then serve immediately.
These make the best restaurant appetizers menu idea
If you're a Chef and looking for a unique, flawless restaurant appetizers menu idea, then these fusion Japanese wings can be one of them.
In order to keep up with the orders and service at the kitchen, the wings should be kept in their fat after finished with confit process.
When the order comes it, remove wings with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Then proceed with frying them on the stove top and finishing with sauce.
Ingredients used in this recipe
Neutral oil - traditionally duck fat is used in confit, but I found it equally delicious and more affordable if I opted out for oil. I recommend to use either grapeseed oil or vegetable oil. If you must use duck fat, then this Rougie rendered duck fat is the best. I always use this for my duck confit.
Sweet mirin - the main ingredient of the sauce and my most favorite Japanese ingredient. I've used mirin in many of my recipes (here, here, and here) and will never stop using it.
Cooking sake - another great Japanese ingredient that used to make the sauce. Sake is rich in glutamic acid and adds a mild sweetness to the sauce. If you can't find cooking sake, you can opt out for rice cooking wine.
Soy sauce - Kikkoman soy sauce has always been my top pick when it comes to cooking with soy based product.
Thai chilies, green onion, and pickled jalapeno - for a touch of spicy and garnish
Japanese confit chicken wings with sweet sake sauce
For confit wings
- 2 lb chicken wings
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- grapeseed oil or other neutral oil/melted duck fat
For sweet sake sauce
- 2 c mirin
- 1 c kikkoman soy sauce
- 1 c cooking sake
- ½ c sugar
- 5 small Thai chilies
- 2 sprigs green onion chopped
- pickled jalapeno
Sweet sake sauce
- In a medium pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to boil then lower the heat to simmer. Cook the mixture until it reduces by half, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Set the sauce aside to cool down. Store in an air tight container, in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- In a medium size hotel pan, put chicken wings into 1 layer. Lightly sprinkle chicken wings with salt and pepper. Cover, refrigerate and let them marinade for at least an hour (maximum 5 hours).
- When the wings are ready to cook, preheat oven to 300F. Put chicken wings in a clean roasting pan that is large enough to hold the wings in one layer. Do not stack them or they won't cook evenly.
- Then submerge the wings completely in grapeseed oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 300F until the wings are very tender (not falling apart), approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- When the wings are done cooking, use a slotted spoon and remove them from the fat. Transfer them on a sheet tray. Strain the fat and pour them in a clean pot. The oil can be kept for up to a month in the fridge.
- On stove top, use a medium non-stick pan. Add just a tsp of oil from the confit, work in small batch, brown both sides of the wings, approximately 3-5 minutes each side.
- When the wings are completely brown, add Thai chilies and about 2-3 tbsp of sweet sake sauce to the pan. Give it a few shake.
- Take the pan off the heat. Transfer fried chicken wings to a serving bowl or plates. Garnish with chopped green onion and pickled jalapeno. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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