Kung Pao Chicken Wings
- 2 Tablespoons annatto seed
- 1 star anise
- 1 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn
- 2 Cups vegetable oil
- 1/4 Cup rice wine
- 1/4 Cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet chile sauce
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons chile bean sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup buttermilk
- 1 packet ranch powder
- 2 Cups rice flour
- 1 Cup water
- 6 chicken wings, split
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Sliced scallions, for garnish
Chef Dale Talde coats chicken wings in a rich flour batter before deep-frying and tossing with a sweet and spicy Kung Pao-inspired sauce, topped with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and scallions and served with a buttermilk ranch sauce.
Combine the annatto seed, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and vegetable oil in a large bowl and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain and reserve.
Fill a large pot halfway with vegetable oil and preheat to 325 degrees. To make the sauce, combine the rice wine, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sweet chile sauce, chile bean sauce, sesame oil, and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oil that's been steeping and set aside.
To make the buttermilk ranch dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and ranch powder together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mix the rice flour and water until smooth. Rinse and dry chicken wings. Dredge the wings in wing batter and fry until golden brown. Drain excess oil off wings then toss in Kung Pao sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions. Serve with buttermilk ranch.