Getting ready for football with Ramen fried chicken wings
Chicken wings and football have become synonymous. And so will chicken wings and ramen after your taste buds experience this simple twist on the fried delicacy. With the football season coming to an end and parties being planned, this sure fire hit needs to be part of your party menu.
Like fried chicken, you’re going to coat the chicken before you fry it in the pan. But instead of flour, you’re going to use ramen noodles. Yes, ramen noodles. The same kind of ramen noodles you find at the store for around 25 cents a pack and stock up on because they’re a cheap, college student staple.
I know, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how the noodles stay on the chicken. Well, you don’t use the noodles in their current state. You’re going to need a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. But first things, first; you’re going to start this process by brining the chicken.
Brining chicken sounds more complicated than it actually is. Brining is simply soaking the chicken in a solution of water, salt and sugar for a period of about three to four hours in your refrigerator. The chicken meat will soak up the salty-sweet flavor of the brine, adding another flavor element your taste buds will thank you for later.
For your brine, in a pan over high heat, add ¾ cup of salt and ¾ cup of sugar to 8 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until the salt and sugar dissolve. Let it cool.
While your brine solution is cooling, cut up your chicken wings. Cutting is not required, but by cutting them up you’ll have more pieces on a plate, and they’re easier to eat. I cut them at the joints so I have what looks like a small drumstick, a wing piece and the tip. I discard the tips since they are mostly just skin and bone.
When the brine is cool, place the wings in a bowl and pour the brine over them. If you don’t have a bowl big enough, you can use a large zip lock bag. If the brine doesn’t completely cover the wings in the bowl, you’ll need to occasionally stir them or re-position them in the bag if you used one. Place the bowl or bag in the refrigerator for approximately three to four hours.
Now the fun part! While the wings are in the brine, you can prepare the ramen powder. Remove the noodles from the package, saving the spice packet. Place the noodles in a large zip lock bag. Using something solid – the heel of your hand, a hammer, a rolling pin or a frying pan, for example – smash the noodles in the bag until they are broken down into small pieces so they’re easier to grind in your food processor, blender or coffee grinder.
Place the smashed noodle pieces in your food processor, blender or coffee grinder and grind until the noodles are the consistency of a course powder.
Place the powder and the contents of the enclosed ramen flavor pack in a bowl and mix until the two are combined.
Once the wings have been brined, transfer them to a colander and rinse with water. Discard the brine and place the wings back in the bowl; don’t dry them.
Time to heat the oil and start frying! Using a large frying pan over medium high-high heat, pour about 4 cups of vegetable or canola oil in the pan. The amount of oil may vary depending on the size of the pan. I use a 12-14 inch pan, and typically use about 4 cups of oil. A bigger pan will require more oil, a smaller pan less oil.
Once the oil is heated and ready to go, individually coat your chicken wings in the ramen noodle mixture and place them in the frying pan. Make sure to leave some space between chicken pieces so they’re not crowded. It will take several batches, depending on how many wings you prepared, to cook all of them.
Cooking time is about 10 to 12 minutes per side, per batch. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the wings over to cook the other side. The noodle coating should be a nice golden brown color.
After each batch is cooked, place the wings on a plate covered with paper towels so the extra oil can drain off the wings before serving them.
Time to dish up and enjoy!
Ramen Fried Chicken Wings
Prep Time: 4 Hours
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
- 3-4 lbs. chicken wings
- Half gallon water
- ¾ c salt
- ¾ c sugar
- 2 packages ramen noodles (any flavor)
- Combine water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil 2-3 minutes until salt and sugar are dissolved. Let cool.
- Optional: cut chicken wings at joints; discard tips.
- In a large bowl, add chicken wings and pour water mixture (brine) over wings. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and then rinse wings with fresh water. Place back in bowl.
- Place the ramen noodles in a large plastic Ziploc-type bag. Using the heel of your hand, a rolling pin, hammer, or frying pan, smash the noodles into smaller pieces. Place the smashed noodles in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Pulse the noodles until they are in a course powder form.
- Add the noodle powder to a bowl and add the spice packets. Mix the noodle/spices thoroughly.
- In a large fry pan, add 4 cups oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated, dredge chicken wings in ramen powder and place in fry pan leaving enough space so they are not crowded. Cook wings on each side approximately 10-12 minutes per side, per batch. When wings are a golden brown, place on a paper towels on a plate so they can drain.