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.
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
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.
Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 8 servings (8-oz each)
2 medium butternut squash from your local farmer’s market
2 medium red onions
2 tbsp butter
chicken stock to cover
4 parsley stems
10 black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp kendall farms creme fraiche
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp clove
1 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
We use local butternut squash from Tuscarora Organic Growers, but butternut squash is easily available from many local producers. Second, we use a creme fraiche from Kendall Farms in California that holds up well to being heated without breaking. I’ve never tried with Vermont Butter and Cheese Creme Fraiche but I think it should probably hold up fine as well. I would maybe cool the soup slightly before incorporating the creme fraiche. Lastly, you need an excellent blender to give this soup the creaminess that we get a the restaurant. A commercial VitaMix blender is what we use at the restaurant.
1. Peel, then cut the butternut squash at the base of the neck.
2. Firmly holding the bulb of the squash, cut in half and scoop out the seeds.
3. Cut the bulb and the rest of the neck of the squash into 1-inch by 1-inch cubes.
4. Slice the onions along the grain thinly.
5. Wrap parsley, thyme, garlic, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves in cheesecloth and tie tightly with kitchen twine.
6. Melt the butter in a large stockpot, sweat the onions over low heat until they are translucent.
7. Add the squash and coat with butter and onions.
8. Cover with enough chicken stock to just come over the squash.
9. Add cheesecloth with aromatics.
10. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
11. Remove cheesecloth of aromatics and discard. 12. Working in batches, ladle squash into blender and cover with enough liquid.
13. Leave an air gap in the cover of the blender to prevent hot soup from splashing out after blending.
14. Starting from low speed, move up to maximum speed slowly until soup is smooth.
15. After completing all of the squash, add creme fraiche, spices, and sugar, and whisk until incorporating.
16. Taste and adjust as necessary.