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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cánh Gà Nướng (Grilled Chicken Wings)

Though spring is not yet over, summer appeared to be gloriously long on Memorial Day; it is the unofficial kickoff to summer. And in just one more day, my girls will be done with school and that for me is really the beginning of summer.

'Summertime, and the livin is easy. . . One of these mornings, you're gonna rise up singing' Heard of that? Nothing ushers in summer like the lyric of this song.

Lazy days on the beach, boating, biking, drive-in movies (yes, we still have this for you Apple generation), bonfires, cookouts - the list goes on.  My favorite thing to do in the summer is firing up  the backyard barbecue grill surrounded with friends and family and winding down on the hammock,  appreciating the glory that's around me.

And what better way to spend time with family and friends around the pool than eating, especially chomping down a perfectly grilled piece of chicken wing.  This delicious, tasty, and addictive chicken wing recipe that I am about to share with you will not only please your tummies and guests' palates, but elevate you to grilling greatness. Okay, maybe not greatness but I can guarantee that your guests will likely take down an entire 6-pound batch in about 5 minutes! These wings are truly  finger lickin’ good.

The key is to cook them over a moderate flame so that the fat renders out and the skin gets nice and crispy. 

This chicken wings are delectable as they are but the extra ingredients of fresh lemongrass, or kaffir lime leaves takes it to another level.  The red pepper flakes are one of the ingredients in the sauce and it's just mild enough for the kids My girls can never get enough of these wings.
RECIPE: Cánh Gà Nướng


about 6 lbs Chicken Wings 
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1tablespoon Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes 
1/4 cup Oil
3 tablespoons  finely chopped Kaffir Lime Leaves, about 6 double leaves
4 tablespoons finely chopped Lemongrass, 2-3 lemongrass stalks

Preparing the Wings

Buy the package of pre-cut wings (also called party wings).  If you buy them whole, the wings will consist of three parts: the drum, the flat/double-boned “wing” part, and the tip. To cut up a whole wing, start by cutting off the tip and discarding, then cut between the drum and the wing part.   I use my hands to break them apart at the joints, then cut them off.  It’s easy once you get the hang of it.  You can also grill the whole wing if preferred.  

Wash the chicken wings, rinse and drain.  Set aside.
Preparing the Sauce

Combine all the ingredients and the lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves,  if used.  Mix well.

Marinate the wings for at least an hour or overnight

wings with lemongrass

wings with kaffir lime leaves

I love incorporate kaffir lime leaves in my food whenever I can, therefore, it's a must to have a kaffir lime tree in my vegetable garden.

Grilling the Wings

Grill the wings just under 400 degrees F with the inside of wings down, covered until the temperature reaches up to 400 degrees, then lower the heat to maintain the temperature at about 400 degrees otherwise the wings will burn quickly.  Lift to lid as needed to release the heat and maintaining grilling temperature.

Continue to cook until the underside is golden then turn and grill other side. Keep an eye on this side as it can flame and burn easily. 

Again, you may need to adjust temperature or opening the grill lid to drop the temperature. As soon as the skin turns golden brown, flip and return the wing to original underside for about 5 minutes and remove to serve.  If not serving right away, transfer wings to the top rack to keep them warm while grilling the vegetables. 

Enjoy these tasty grilled wings with pickled cucumber, daikon, assorted grilled vegetables, and grilled sticky rice with some beer or beverage of your choice to kickoff the summer party.


  1. Thank you for sharing Loan! You are an awesome chief.

  2. Another awesome recipe! Thanks for all the ideas.

  3. Sounds so delicious. Can't wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing

  4. Whoa, grilled dragonfruit! Found this blog today and am loving it so very much!

  5. Do you prefer with lemongrass or with lime leaves? Can both be incorporated together into the sauce mixture?

    1. I like the mixture of both lemongrass and kaffir line leaves in the sauce.