These chicken wings are left to marinate overnight in a lemongrass marinade to maximize their flavor. Then grilled to perfection on a cast-iron grill pan.
There are many occasions where a good chicken wings dish is the perfect thing to serve, like a game day or summer BBQ, or just because. This lemongrass chicken wings recipe is one of my favorite wings recipe, and I make it so often it’s rather ridiculous.
And they can not be any easier. Make the marinating sauce in a food processor, marinate the wings overnight, then grill and serve. Easy peasy!
What's in the lemongrass marinade
The marinating sauce is made with shallot, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and pepper.
Most of these should be self-explanatory, but I’ll go through some of the more exotic ingredients.
You can buy fresh stalks of lemongrass from an Asian market. If you live far away from one, you should know that you can buy them in bulk, clean them up, store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag, and freeze them. They will last for months and months.
And when you want to use them, simply remove the needed amount. Usually, they will have thawed in about 10 minutes, and are ready to be used.
Also, frozen and thawed lemongrass becomes much softer compared to fresh stalks. Meaning, frozen and thawed ones are actually much easier and gentler on your knife or chopper blade.
You can use either Chinese/Asian shallots or French shallots. Since shallot sizes vary a lot, it is best if you can follow the weight measurement.
I use wet seedless tamarind that comes in a see-through plastic packaging. Simply measure the needed amount and add water, then massage thoroughly to make a thick tamarind paste. Remember to strain before using to discard any seed or pulp.
Prepare the marinade for chicken wings
Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients for the sauce, simply puree everything with a blender or a food processor into a smooth paste.
Combine chicken wings and the marinating sauce. Rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Cooking the chicken wings
You can cook these chicken wings with one of these methods:
- on a stovetop with a cast-iron grill pan, or a cast-iron skillet
- with a charcoal BBQ grill
- bake/roast in an oven
For a basic kitchen that comes only with a stovetop, the first choice is the simplest way to go. Simply heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast-iron grill pan/skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the chicken wings until slightly charred. About 5 minutes per side.
In summer months when the weather is nice, you should really try grilling the wings over a charcoal BBQ grill. For me, this is the best option.
If you want a mess-free cooking experience, you can bake these in an oven too. Simply preheat the oven to 220 Celsius/425 Fahrenheit, place a wire rack over a baking sheet, arrange the wings on the rack and bake for 30 minutes, flip as needed.
Lemongrass Chicken Wings
- 30 pieces of chicken wings (I use 15 drumettes and 15 mid sections)
- Marinating sauce
- 100 gram shallot
- 3 lemongrass, white part only
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 inch ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamarind + 4 tablespoon water, strained
- 50 ml water
- Puree marinating sauce ingredients with a blender or a food processor into a smooth paste.
- Combine chicken wings and marinating sauce and let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
- Option 1: Stovetop. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast-iron grill pan/skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the chicken wings until slightly charred. About 5 minutes per side.
- Option 2: Charcoal grill. Get your charcoal grill to operate on high heat. Cook each side of the chicken wings until slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side.
- Option 3: Oven. Preheat the oven to 220 Celsius/425 Fahrenheit, place a wire rack over a baking sheet, arrange the wings on the rack and bake for 30 minutes, flip as needed.