Press: The Washington Post “Creme Fraiche Wings”

Want to know the secret behind our creme fraiche wings? Check out the article that Bonnie Benwick wrote in the Washington Post Food Section.  

Photograph by Renee Comet for The Washington Post
MAY 2, 2014

These wings have become a signature dish at Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna. The no-cook sauce relies on the smooth blending of creme fraiche, gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and the sour tang of sudachi juice, a Japanese citrus.

It’s preferable to have an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the oil as well as the doneness of the wings.

Make Ahead: Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Where to Buy: Sudachi juice is available at Japanese grocers such as Hana Market in the District. Gojuchang is available at Asian markets and at some Whole Foods Markets.


SERVINGS: 

Tested size: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 to 6 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups good-quality creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, preferably Sky Dragon brand
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Squid brand
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup gojuchang (Korean red pepper paste; see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons sudachi juice (see headnote; may substitute yuzu juice or fresh lime juice)
  • Pinch kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound chicken wings and drumettes
  • Finely chopped chives or scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Heat the canola oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat, so the oil reaches 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels, then place a wire rack over them.

Combine the creme fraiche, oyster sauce, fish sauce, 1/2 cup of the gojuchang, tamari, sudachi juice and the pinches of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk to form a smooth, well incorporated sauce. Taste; if you like spicy heat, add some or all of the remaining 1/4 cup of gojuchang.

Working in two or three batches, fry the chicken wings and drumettes to an internal temperature (taken away from the bone) of 200 degrees; this should take 7 or 8 minutes. They will be lightly golden brown. Immediately transfer to the wire rack to drain; season lightly with salt and pepper.

While the wings are still warm, transfer them to the bowl. Use your clean hands to toss and coat them evenly. Stack or arrange on a plate; garnish with the chives or scallions.

Serve hot.