Cola Chicken Wings (可乐鸡翅 Ke Le Ji Chi)
July 9, 2022  Print
Cola Chicken has a quite following among kids and there is a good reason for it. Let’s be honest, most kids have a sweet tooth. And cola has plenty of sugar in it. It’s no wonder kids are particularly drawn to this dish.
There are many versions of cola chicken out there. No matter the version, cola and soy sauce are always used to create a rich, savory caramel glaze on top of the chicken. For my version, I use ginger as the other major ingredient, which gives the glistening chicken a hint of ginger fragrance. Ginger and coke pair extremely well. There is even a popular hot Chinese beverage made with only coke and ginger. It’s sweet and smooth and is commonly drunk when someone is under the weather. To reduce the ginger’s spiciness, the ginger needs to be minced or sliced super thin. After braising in coke and soy sauce, the ginger also becomes caramelized and is pleasing to the palate.
I like using chicken wings to make this dish, but you can certainly use chicken drumsticks, thighs or other chicken parts.
I also highly recommend using regular cola, either Coca-Cola or Pepsi, rather than diet versions. Trust me, I’ve made cola chicken with coke zero and diet coke. The resulting glaze and flavor were not nearly as good as when this dish is made with regular cola. Since there is caffeine in regular cola, I only serve Cola Chicken occasionally to my kids. You can certainly use caffeine-free Coke or Pepsi to make this dish.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 people
- 1 to 1.5 lb chicken wings 1
- 1 2-inch long piece of ginger
- 1 bottle of Coca-Cola or Pepsi 2
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Peel and mince the ginger. Separate the wingletts from the drummettes if not already done.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a well-seasoned skillet or wok under medium heat. When the skillet is warm, add the minced ginger. Wait until the ginger becomes golden but not browned, then add the chicken pieces. Lightly sear all sides until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside but still raw on the inside, about 5 minutes.
- Pour enough cola until the chicken pieces are submerged at least half way. Add 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, mixing gently. Cover the lid and wait for the liquid to return to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the chicken for 20 minutes or until at least half the liquid evaporates, turning the chicken at least once in between.
- Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium-high. When the liquid reduces to a much thicker sauce, turn off the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate. Watch closely as it only takes few minutes for the liquid to thicken. Enjoy while warm!
- You can also use an equivalent amount of chicken drumsticks, thighs, or other chicken parts.
- I used a can of mini coke here (7.5 fl oz), which is a little more than half of a regular-sized coke (12 fl oz).
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