Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grilled Stuffed Chicken Wings

A common appetizer found on the menus of many Thai restaurants is stuffed chicken wings.  These are usually stuffed with a mixture of ground chicken and/or shrimp, then steamed before being deep fried.  With the right mixture and proper cooking, they're delicious. But who wants to steam and fry when it's summer?  It's time for grilling, so that's what I've done.

Although deboning the wings takes a little effort, it's worth it.  These are essentially sausages using the chicken skin as casing.  They could be served as appetizers or as the main protein for a meal.  Served with rice and a salad, they make a very satisfactory dinner.

Grilled Stuffed Chicken Wings

10 chicken wings, drummettes removed and reserved for another dish
12 oz ground pork (turkey or chicken could be substituted, I suppose)
1 small bundles of cellophane noodles (soun) soaked to soften
5 shallots, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of lemongrass, inner, white and pale green parts only, finely minced
1 tsp (or more) sambal ulek
2 TBS fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
ground pepper to taste

Remove the two bones in the second section of the wings by slipping a boning knife or a paring knife between the skin and where it attaches to the bone.  Scrape the flesh from the bone, being careful not to puncture the skin.  Grab the end of the bone and twist it free from its joint at the "elbow." Do the same for the other bone.

In a food processor, mix the pork and other ingredients together.  Fry a small portion and adjust seasonings to your taste.  When you've got the mixture seasoned to your liking, stuff the boneless section of the wings.  I use a pastry bag, without a tip, to do this. 

Grill the wings as you would sausage, being careful not to cook them too quickly.  I prefer to cook them over indirect heat at first, then finish them over direct heat at the end.  Serve whole, or slice and fan the slices for a more shi-shi presentation.

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