Peanut butter and green curry chicken wings were a popular bar snack at a restaurant I worked at in Hong Kong's popular entertainment district of Lan Kwai Fong. The wings were deep fried with whole garlic cloves before being piled onto a serving plate. When you cook the dish at home, it’s far easier (and less messy) to grill the wings in the oven.
The quality of the peanut butter matters – but, ironically, you want the cheaper stuff. Don’t use natural peanut butter because the oil separates out from the solids. You want peanut butter that’s smooth and cohesive. Buy the type without added sugar.
If the two parts of the chicken wings are connected, use a sharp knife to separate them at the joint. Dry the wings with paper towels, then put them in a bowl.
Cut the bird’s-eye chillies into thin rings, squeezing out and discarding the seeds as you go.
In a small bowl, mix the curry paste with the peanut butter, honey, fish sauce, lime juice and chillies. Add this to the chicken wings and mix well. Leave at room temperature for at least one hour (or longer in the fridge).
Remove and discard the thick peel from the exterior of the head of garlic, then separate it into individual cloves. Bring a medium-size pot of water to the boil, add the garlic cloves and simmer for five minutes, then drain.
About 30 minutes before you want to serve the meal, preheat the oven grill to high. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil (this makes cleaning up easier).
Add the garlic cloves to the bowl with the chicken wings and mix well, to coat the garlic with the marinade. Spread the wings and garlic cloves (and the marinade) in one layer on the baking tray, placing the wings so the fattier side (the part with a thicker layer of skin) is down.
Slide the baking tray into the oven so the wings are about 2cm (⅞ in) away from the heating element. Grill for five minutes, then turn the wings over so the fattier side is up.
Put the baking tray back under the grill and cook for seven to 10 minutes, or until the wings are browned, lightly charred in spots, and fully cooked.
Arrange the wings and garlic cloves on a serving platter and add the garnishes of choice. Serve hot or warm.