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Chicken wings with XFF spices

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

I love chicken wings and usually pick recipes that have a sauce and are sticky. However, the photograph of these in the book looked so good that I had to try these. I was absolutely blown away by how delicious this recipe was.

Sichuan peppercorns are a staple of spicy Chinese cuisine, especially in Sichuan (previously spelt as Szechuan) food. The red husks, the seeds removed, are spicy and have the property of numbing your tongue, giving the spice a very distinct mouthfeel. The tingling they produce stimulates the taste buds and allows diners to enjoy the intense flavours more. More on Sichuan peppercorns here. As a trivia nerd, there are three ingredients used in food that cause numbing of the palate, Sichuan peppercorns, buzz buttons and cloves.

I altered the recipe to roast them instead of frying them to make them healthier. The wings were perfect, the crisp skin was well browned and delicate and the spicy dipping spices were delightful. These are wings that you will easily eat a dozen of, the salt and spice blend with make your lips tingle and have you crave more.

Xi'an Famous Foods, XFF, is a chain of casual restaurants in New York with three locations. The restaurant was started by Jason Wang who realized that he missed the traditional food from the Xi'an region in Western China and that there were others like him. However, although casual the recipes from this cookbook are amazing, including these chicken wings. The flavours stay true to their origins, popping with spices and chillies.

For more recipes from the cookbook, click here.


6-8 chicken wings, skin on and kept whole

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2-3 garlic cloves, minced finely

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (maida)

For the dipping spice:

2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade well and rub them over the wings. Marinate the wings in all the ingredients for 2 hours.

While the wings are marinating, blitz the spice mix in a spice grinder to get a smooth powder. taste and adjust for salt and heat.

  • Heat the oven to 375° F.

Layer the wings on a lined baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes till the outsides are well browned and the wings are cooked through and break apart easily.

Serve immediately sprinkling with a few pinches of the dipping spice with extra on the side.

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