Chennai Chicken Wings – A Football Snack from the Land of Cricket

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I used to do a new chicken wing video every year before the Super Bowl, but that yearly ritual stopped when I sort of ran out of things to do with them. Being from Western New York State, where chicken wings are as much a religion, as they are a snack, I didn’t want these posts to become gratuitous and contrived.

However, this year I was inspired to reestablish the tradition after enjoying an appetizer called “Chennai Chicken,” served at Dosa, which is one of my favorite Indian restaurants in San Francisco. Their version features thin strips of breast coasted with a ton of spice, and deep-fried to a gorgeous brick red.  

It’s one of those dishes you can’t stop eating, no matter how badly your mouth is burning, and I thought it would make a great approach for a batch of Buffalo wings. Since they’d never published the recipe, I did a lot of guessing here, but think I got pretty close. One of the key ingredients is an Indian spice blend called garam masala, which isn’t too hard to find, but if you can’t, here’s a link to a recipe for making your own.

As usual, feel free to alter the spice amounts as you see fit, but as I said in the video, do not skip the rice vinegar sauce. It really makes the dish. I’m not sure if these wings are too exotic for your Super Bowl party, or if your guests are not exotic enough for them, but I really hope you give them a try anyway. Enjoy!

4 pounds split chicken wings
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon rice flour
4 teaspoons cayenne
4 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt

For the ginger oil:
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon julienned or grated ginger root
2 teaspoons sambal (spicy ground chili sauce)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

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