Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beer Braised Szechuan Chicken Wings for a Game Day Entertaining #SundaySupper with Gallo Family Vineyards

Beer Braised Szechuan Chicken Wings

I alluded to my love for football about a year ago with a quick pasta dish. I will further specify that I grew up a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, so I laughed when I read the theme for this week's #SundaySupper event with Gallo Family Vineyards, Game Day Entertaining and Pairings, because fans of my team used to have a reputation of being soft (i.e. the wine and cheese crowd) which contrasted with the fans of the other team across the San Francisco Bay. (On a side note, I was relieved when San Francisco lost to Seattle because I don't think Kaepernick would have been able to keep up with Manning, but that's an entirely different discussion.)

If you're unfamiliar with Gallo Family Vineyards, they have a store locator where you can find their wines, and can be found on facebook, twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. They also have a fun crest creator which you can customize. I did one myself you can see below. In the interest of full disclosure, compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

GFV also sponsored a previous #SundaySupper event last month. During the twitter chat that week, a portion of the discussion centered around Moscato, which I had never tried. I was intrigued so when I was selected to participate in this week's event, I selected their white Moscato to use for my dish, however I hadn't realized it was a sweet wine when I did. I prefer dry wines such as chardonnays and cabernets because I usually pair them with savory dishes if I'm enjoying a glass with dinner or cook with them. I'm not really a dessert guy and can't appreciate sweet cocktails so I did a google search for wine pairings and one suggestion for Moscato was Chinese food. Many spicy dishes in their cuisine pair well with the sweet wine.

The Challenge

Pair a sweet wine with a spicy appetizer.

The Source

I adapted a chicken wings dish on Cooking Channel's website I thought would make for great game day entertaining.


2 pounds chicken wings, wing tips removed, then cut at the joint
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, dry toasted until fragrant
5 dried red chiles, crushed
1 bunch scallion greens, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 star anise
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 12-fluid ounce bottles ale beer
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup corn starch
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 teaspoon chives, chopped fine (for garnish)


1. Marinate the wings: Combine the wings, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, five-spice, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chiles, scallion greens and star anise in a resealable bag and toss until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Braise the wings: Empty the contents of the resealable bag into a large Dutch oven. Add to it the ale and rice vinegar. Bring the oven to a boil on the stovetop then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the wings are tender and the meat is almost falling off the bone, approximately 1 hour. Remove the wings onto a platter in a single layer and refrigerate until cold, reserving the braising fluid.

3. Fry the wings: Place enough vegetable oil in a large pot to reach a depth of at least 1 1/2 inches and heat to 375° Fahrenheit. Combine the corn starch and flour, then dredge each wing into the mixture and shake off any excess. Deep-fry the chicken, in batches if necessary, in the oil until deep brown and crisp, approximately 3 minutes, taking care to not overcrowd the pot. Remove the wings with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

4. Finish the dish: While the wings are frying, place the braising fluid over medium heat and reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain out and discard the solids, then return the braising fluid to the heat and whisk in the butter. Pour the fluid into the bowl with the chicken and toss until well coated. Serve immediately garnished with the chives and accompanied by Moscato.


I need to confess that I didn't have time to marinate the wings overnight so the spicy flavors were muted, which suits me well since I dislike strong spicy dishes. The spice was just enough to complement the sweet flavor of Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato. Mrs. Stuntman also enjoyed this dish so much that these wings might make an encore appearance on Super Bowl Sunday.

Other Sunday Supper Participants

And finally, please check out this week's other Sunday Supper contributors:

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


  1. Great wings! Love the combo of beer with the szechuan spices. These would be a big hit on game day.

  2. Pairing a sweet wine with a spicy appetizer is an excellent idea! These wings sound fantastic!

  3. The sweet wine paired with the spicy chicken wings sounds like a great pairing to me! I have never tried making chicken wings at home...I should put that on my to do list!

  4. Love the sweet and spicy pairing for these wings! Delicious!

  5. love these wings!!! and love that you added Szechuan peppercorns and Chinese Five Spice. . legit!

  6. LOVE the idea of spicy Asian wings! And great to know that Moscato is the ideal pairing!! Well done!

  7. These wings looks amazing and I can only imagine how good they tasted with the Moscato.

  8. Challenge accepted and the result look spectacular!

  9. Your wings sound additive! Love the flavors, DL!

  10. These look finger lickin' good! I guess the Giants fans are in the same "wine and cheese" group. I remember seeing a Giants promo plastered on a MUNI bus: "Char-char-chardonnay". We had just moved to SF from the East Coast and my husband and I wondered how anyone could take a baseball team seriously with that kind of ad campaign! But I have to admit, I had some of the best food and wine at that ballpark!

  11. I am not a wings fan, but I think that marinade would be fabulous for some chicken breasts. I'll have to try it. And I am not usually a sweet wine person, but I did enjoy the Gallo Moscato quite a bit!

  12. Great dish DB! I think Asian style wings are much better than American style as they have a more rounded flavor profile. Although like you I can't take them too hot!

  13. I love the ingredients you use in this recipe!

  14. I'm a huge wing fanatic (in fact, I'm making wings for dinner today). I also love beer and wine, so to use beer in the wings then pair up with wine? I'm in.

  15. Yes! Now that I know how well moscato pairs with spicy food, I can't get enough of the combo! The only thing is, I haven't been able to find Szechuan peppercorns in my area :( May have to order some online or something.

    1. They should be available at any Asian supermarket.

  16. I would definitely not mind snacking on these delicious creations at a super bowl party! Fantastic recipe :) Make sure you stop by my link party, Om Nom Nom Friday (even though it's Sunday) and share some of your delicious creations :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  17. Marinated, braised and THEN deep fried?! You are speaking my wing language, DB. These look wonderful and I fear I could eat the whole batch. Such a lovely spice combination and why do I never think to braise things in beer? I am pinning this one on my Recipes to Try board!

    P.S. That WAS insane!

  18. Wings and beer...Super Bowl Sunday must-haves!


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