Saigon Garlic-Lemongrass Wings

Great appetizer or light entree — terrific flavor! Be sure to let the wings marinate at least 4 hours — and 24 hours is even better!

12 whole chicken wings (2 ½ to 3 lbs)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ c. chopped shallots
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed and sliced.
2 T. sugar
1/3 c. Asian fish sauce
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. vegetable oil
¼. Finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish
¾ c. chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Rinse the wings under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Cut tips off.  Make two or three deep slashes to the bone in the meaty part of each wing.  Set aside.

2. Combine the garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass and sugar in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Add the fish sauce, lemon juice, and canola oil, and continue to process until the mixture is a smooth puree.  Scrape into a large bowl (I used a 13 x 9” glass dish), add the wings and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably 24, turning the wings occasionally.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

4. When ready to cook, drain the chicken wings.  Grill, turning several times with tongs until the thicker wing sections are no longer pink near the bone – 12 to 16 minutes in all.  Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the peanuts and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

The Barbecue Bible, Steven Raichlen

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