Asian-Style BBQ Duck Wings
Ha Tran, Production Chef
West Lafayette, Ind.
Yield: 6 servings
“wings are simple, delicious, consistent in
sizing, texture and taste, and they are
universally loved." —Dean Corbett
2 lbs. Maple Leaf Farms duck wings
1 t. crushed red pepper
¼ cup oyster sauce
2 T. sugar
²/³ cup water
2 t. cornstarch
2 t. white vinegar
3 T. cooking oil
2 garlic cloves
1 t. fresh ginger
1 t. toasted sesame seeds
Green onions, thinly sliced
“When we first started, two years ago, we
had a bone-in wing that was deep-fried
and tossed in a hot sauce, like everybody
does,” Bowers says. “But we changed to
a boneless wing to cut costs. Now that
things have leveled off, we’re offering the
boneless and the bone-in jumbo wings.”
His version is smothered turkey wings,
and the recipe is used by the Washington,
D.C.-based National Turkey Federation
in its marketing efforts. The wings are
braised in chicken stock in a sauté pan.
Then, Stafford ladles housemade onion
gravy over them. “The gravy sticks to the
wings—it’s not a separate thing,” he says.
1) In deep fryer, fry duck wings
2½ minutes. Reserve hot. 2) Mix
pepper, oyster sauce, sugar, water,
cornstarch and vinegar. Reserve.
3) Put oil, garlic and ginger in
saucepan; cook until fragrance
released. Add sauce; cook until
thickened. 4) Toss hot wings in
sauce until wings are covered.
Garnish with sesame seeds and
At Big Daddy’s Burger Bar, Long prefers
bone-in because it keeps the meat moist,
“as long as you don’t overcook it,” he says.
“They get a nice crunchy texture on the
outside and are moist in the center.”
Long also serves jumbo wings, 9-11
wings per pound. “We always check the
biggest piece per batch to be sure they
are cooked,” he says. “When the wings are
floating on top, they are done.”
Duck wings are another alternative to
chicken wings. Ha Tran, production chef
at Purdue University in West Lafayette,
Ind., experimented with duck wing samples
from Maple Leaf Farms, Milford, Ind. He
created Asian-style duck wings, which are
now served at the international station in
the university’s dining court.
Tran says that while duck wings are more
expensive, an advantage is that something
different from chicken wings is being
served. Also, duck wings are larger.
About eight or nine wings are in each
serving. “I have found customers prefer
the drummie presentation over the full
wing,” says Corbett.
Stafford at Delta’s Restaurant serves three-part turkey wings—the drumstick, and the
wing separated into two parts. “It’s nicer
for presentation, instead of a crossed-leg
turkey wing, which looks strange,” he says.
Another reason the parts are separated is
that the drumstick cooks longer.
Boneless wings also are served at
12 Baltimore Café, and Bowers says
they are actually chicken tenders. They
can be either coated with hot sauce
or barbecue sauce, or served with the
sauce on the side. Both types come in
a six-wing serving.
WINGS OF A DIFFERENT BIRD
Delta’s turkey wings are vastly different
from chicken wings, says Stafford. “They
are larger than chicken wings, and cooked
differently. A lot of people ask for fried
turkey wings, but I find them a little tough,
as they come from a large bird. When
chicken is fried, you get different results.”
“Wings are huge with college students.
And we are serving a huge number of
international students who love to eat
duck meat,” he says. “We are serving
both chicken and duck wings, but I was
pleasantly surprised that the duck wings
were so tender and meaty.”
Kathryn Kjarsgaard is a freelance food
writer based in Forest Park, Ill.