Elizabeth Falkner was runner-up for 2011's Next Iron Chef and is chef at Krescendo in Brooklyn, New York.
Recipe: Hot Wings, Three Ways
I played professional soccer for years and these wings were just the sort of finger-licking comfort food I always craved after a match. Now I find that I want the same kind of thing after a hard night in the kitchen! Wings are great because they're a really tasty--but also really inexpensive--cut of meat. And the combinations of spices and sauces you can use on them is unending; I couldn't pick just one. Spicy sauce and blue cheese has become a classic for a lot of Americans--but it's easy to take the basic idea and move it into Asian or Moroccan flavors for something a little unexpected.
Serve with: Old fashioned coleslaw--or really any crunchy, crispy salad with a cooling dressing or vinaigrette--is a perfect match. I like to make an Asian-accented coleslaw with hijiki in it. It goes great with the wings with black bean sauce.
Pro tip: A good wing should be crispy, not soggy. Sometimes, instead of dredging the wings in flour and spices and tossing them in a sticky sauce after frying, people use a wet batter, which can can make it hard to get them crispy. Or maybe they don't fry them long enough. It's also important to remember not to cover the wings after they've been fried and are still hot--because that will steam them and make them lose their crunch.