About twice a month, my boyfriend and I order far too many chicken wings. (We order so many they bring them to us in a catering container. We also get fries. We will not be shamed.) He and I have slightly different strategies when it comes to dealing with the leftovers. He eats them in his sleep while crouched in the kitchen like a feral beast; I remove the cold meat from the bone and toss it with some cold peanut noodles.
Both leftover eradication methods have their merits, but cold chicken wings are uniquely excellent in cold noodle bowls. Rather than going through the trouble of trying to restore them to their former just-sauced glory with heat, adding them to a cold noodle bowl is an act that embraces — nay, celebrates — the fact that they are cold.
A good noodle bowl should be a very loud, almost raucous symphony of flavours, and chicken wings are kind of noisy in this regard. Usually cooked twice, chicken wings have a ton of broken down connective tissue and fat — two things that mean flavour. They’re already cooked and sauced, and the meat comes off the bone in perfect little bite-sized shreds — you just pull it off with your fingers! Toss that meat with some cold noodles (I often use instant ramen), whatever vegetables you have hanging around, and some sort of sauce, and you have a full, almost no-cook meal (you do have to cook the noods).
For sauces, I usually use A.A. Newton’s spicy peanut sauce or this ginger dressing, but I recommend picking a sauce that offers some contrast to whatever your wings were sauced in. If your wings are super spicy, pick something creamy and cooling. If your wings are sticky sweet, pick something sharp and acidic. If your wings are classic buffalo, pick something peanut-based. (I don’t know why this combination is so good, it just is.) Sauce the noodles separately, then crown them with shredded wing meat. Repeat until you are out of wings.
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