It was very tempting to try and make something delicious with pop rocks this week, but I think that certain things are just not meant to cook with outside the Chopped Canada kitchen!

So it made a bit more sense to go with a certain hot chili sauce that a lot of people have in their pantries but might not think ‘outside the bottle’ when using it: sriracha. In other words, most people just grab it out of the fridge to squeeze it on top of something, whether it be rice, mashed potatoes, a slice of pizza…you get my drift. Poor sriracha, it’s so over-used but so under-utilized at the same time.

The beauty of this ‘rooster’ sauce is that it’s an amazing ingredient that you can add to a variety of dishes to brighten them up. It has a great balance of sweet, savoury, salty and spicy which can help something like a basic tomato soup or beef stew go from boring to complex in no time.

Although I cannot throw a football, nor catch one, these wings are my subtle nod to this past weekend’s Super Bowl. If chicken wings aren’t your thing, feel free to use this sauce on some roasted cauliflower or spoon it onto a whole chicken when it has about a half an hour or so left to cook.

Lime, Coconut and Chili Chicken Wings
Total cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 ½ cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari to stay gluten free)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lime, half of it zested and juiced, the other half cut into wedges for garnish
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons warm water

1.    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2.    Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss to coat.
3.    Roast in the oven on a baking sheet until golden and crispy, about 20-22 minutes.
4.    Heat sesame oil in a medium pot on medium-high heat.
5.    Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook until garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes or so.
6.    Place the next 6 ingredients into the pot, reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7.    Whisk together the cornstarch and warm water and add to the pot to help the sauce thicken slightly. Keep the sauce warm on the stove until wings are finished roasting.
8.    Once cooled slightly, transfer wings to a medium bowl and pour the coconut chili sauce over them. Toss until well-coated. Serve immediately!

Watch Chopped Canada Episode 5: Just Desserts
Chuck Hughes’ Crab Cakes with Spicy Mayo Recipe