Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings

Chocolate chipotle braised Chicken wings

Welcome, welcome! Super Bowl Sunday is one day closer, and that means I’m posting another chicken wings recipe for your game day consideration. Yup, it’s CHICKEN WINGS WEEK! Yesterday we baked wings, so today we are braising them.

I’ve always thought of braising as being reserved for large, tough cuts of meat that need to be slow cooked, like short ribs, or pork shoulder; so I was quite intrigued when I heard that braising little chicken wings was actually a thing. And now that I’ve tried it, I’m quite pleased to share the results.

chocolate chipotle braised chicken wings

First off, braising wings doesn’t take nearly as long as braising larger chunks of meat. Secondly, it keeps the meat very moist and tender. And lastly, these may just be the sauciest wings I’ve ever had. Seriously, a stack of napkins likely won’t be enough; serve them with a tower of napkins!

Flavor-wise, this is reminiscent of a Mexican mole sauce, but with far fewer ingredients. It’s deep, earthy, homey, and spicy – perfect for winter. The cooking method is largely hands-off, and the wings can sit in the braising sauce on the stove top over low heat as long as you need them to, so they’re ideal party food. Hope y’all enjoy these!

Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings

{One year ago: Spicy Calamari Stew with Garlic Rubbed Ciabatta Toasts}

Source: heavily adapted from The Great Wings Book by Hugh Carpenter

3 lbs. whole chicken wings, split in 2 parts and tips discarded
3 dried ancho chiles
2 dried pasilla chiles
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 plum tomatoes
1 chipotle in adobo
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning the wings
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 oz. Mexican chocolate, or use a very dark bittersweet chocolate if you can’t find Mexican, broken into chunks
Fresh minced cilantro, for garnish

In a small saucepot, place the dried chiles and enough water to just cover them. Place on high heat and bring the water up to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, shut off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium dry cast-iron skillet heated over high heat, add the tomatoes and garlic. Char them a few minutes on each side, until the tomatoes are blistered and beginning to soften and burst, and the garlic is nicely browned. Add the tomatoes and garlic to a blender. Also to the blender, add the chipotle in adobo, cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, allspice, and oregano. Now add the rehydrated chiles and 1-2 cups of the soaking liquid from the pot.
Puree until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Wipe out the cast-iron skillet. Lightly toss the wings with salt. Preheat the skillet to high heat and sear the wings, skin side down, just until browned. You can sear the meaty side too, but it’s not critical. Work in batches if necessary, as crowding the pan will just steam the wings. Yuck.
Add the pureed sauce to a large Dutch oven. Place over medium heat and add the browned wings. Bring to a gentle simmer and let it go for 15 minutes. Your heat level should be between medium and medium-low at this point. You’ll probably have to play with it a bit, just keep the sauce gently simmering. Stir occasionally.
After 15 minutes, add the chocolate chunks and stir to combine. Let the braise go another 5-10 minutes, to melt and incorporate the chocolate and to make sure the wings are completely cooked through. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.
At this point you can garnish with cilantro and serve, or keep it over low heat for as long as you need.

2 responses to “Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings

  1. Pingback: Soy, Dijon and Blue Cheese Chicken Wings | The Texan New Yorker

  2. Pingback: Game Day Grub Recipe Round-Up | The Texan New Yorker

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