Forget Taste of Chicago, Baconfest, or any other foodie fest in the Windy City– Chicago Restaurant Week rules them all, thanks to a carefully curated list of 300 participating restaurants offering affordable (or, seemingly so, at least– add a couple drinks to the mix and you’ll shell out more than you’d bargained for) $22/$33/$44 prix fixe lunch and dinner menus showcasing their signature dishes. Check out the list of restaurants and their respective menus.
Last weekend, I kicked off Chicago Restaurant Week with a romantic night out with my guy at Embeya in Fulton River District. We opted for the $44 tasting menu, which began with green papaya culantro with crispy shallots and Vietnamese beef jerky, and ended with purple-hued taro ice cream, with plenty of incredible shareable dishes in between.
But most memorable of all was the grilled quail with a unique chili lime salt dipping sauce. Lime wedges were plated next to a small dipping dish filled with course sea salt granules and colorful Thai chili flakes, and our server instructed us to squeeze the lime juice into the salt and chili flake mixture. Squeeze, dip, devour.
The flavor cocktail that ensued was unfathomable. Orgasmic. Like nothing I’ve ever had.
Okay, I know I’m prone to peppering a bit of hyperbole into my writing, but truly– this dish was that good. And naturally, I set out to recreate it.
These baked Thai-style crisp-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings coated in honey and paired with that killer lime, chili flake, and sea salt mixture are the product of that inspiration. Do yourself a favor and ditch the buffalo sauce and blue cheese– your mouth will thank you. An as an added bonus, this recipe is gluten-free and paleo.
*Want to make these for a tailgate? Grill ’em in foil instead!
Thai Chicken Wings
- 8 chicken wings, sliced in half and de-tipped
- 4 Tablespoons honey
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
- 2 Tablespoons course ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Thai chili flakes (or crushed red pepper flakes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil
- Slice wings at joints, preserving the drumette and the midsection and discarding the wing tip
- Add honey to a small bowl
- Dip wings into the honey and thorough coat
- Place wings on lined baking dish and bake for 42-48 minutes (skin should be browned and crisp)
- While wings are baking, mix sea salt and chili flakes in a small ramekin or dipping bowl
- Remove baking dish from oven and serve immediately
- Squeeze juice from lime wedges into the dipping bowl right before serving