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Chicken Wings with Ginger and Caramel Sauce

['Caramel (recipe follows)', '1/3 cup sugar', '1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)', '2 garlic cloves, sliced', '4 shallots, sliced', '2 1/2 pounds chicken wings', 'One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, julienned', '2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns, plus more for garnish', '6 sprigs fresh cilantro']

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. To make the caramel: Put the sugar in an oven-proof casserole and add just enough water to wet it, about 1 tablespoon. Shake the pan to distribute the sugar and water and caramelize over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. The sugar will gradually liquefy and darken; when it becomes golden brown, remove from the heat.
3. Carefully add the nam pla (it may spatter; hold the pan at arm's length), then return to the heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened.
4. Add the chicken wings and coat with the sauce. Gently stir in the ginger and pepper and continue stirring until the chicken browns slightly, about 4 minutes. Cover and cook for 7 minutes, then transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
5. Remove the chicken wings, which should now be a rich caramel color, garnish with cilantro and cracked black pepper, and serve.

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