For the Brine:
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
For the Wings:
- For the Wings: 3 pounds drumettes or cut wings (I prefer all drummettes)
- Cooking spray, canola or olive oil
For the Pickled Carrot and Celery Sticks:
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- Pickling spice (1 teaspoon each mustard seed and coriander seed, 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries and red chili flakes, 2 thin slices ginger root, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 1 large fresh bay leaf, 2 to 3 cloves and black peppercorns)
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks
- 4 to 5 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch sticks
For the Sauce:
- For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 inches ginger, grated or finely chopped
- Coarse black pepper, about 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
For the Toppings Bar:
- Lime wedges
- Chopped scallions, whites and greens
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Chopped toasted peanuts, almonds or smoked almonds
- Horseradish Blue Cheese Sauce (1 cup sour cream, 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1/4 cup minced chives, 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, splash of cream, half-n-half or buttermilk, salt and pepper to taste)
Combine brine ingredients in a 2-gallon plastic food storage bag. Add wings, store on bottom shelf of fridge overnight or several hours.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
For pickled carrots and celery, place all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool; transfer to a container and refrigerate overnight. Remove veggies from pickle juice to serve.
For the sauce, heat butter to foaming over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and black pepper, and swirl a minute or two. Add hot sauce, tomato sauce, soy, vinegar, Worcestershire and sugar; simmer to thicken a bit.
Transfer sauce to large bowl, toss in hot, crispy, freshly baked wings to coat. Serve with toppings bar of lime wedges, scallions, sesame seeds, toasted chopped nuts and horseradish-blue cheese sauce, and pickled vegetables alongside.