The Key to a Truly Great Chicken Wing

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 11.21.45 AMAmericans are a wing-loving people. The Buffalo variety, by most accounts “invented” at the Anchor Bar in, yes, Buffalo, is the official food of our most sacred event of the year: the Super Bowl.

And though we are also a grilling people, wings seldom make the cut for some reason, being passed over for burgers, dogs, steaks, fish and meatier cuts of chicken, even boneless chicken breasts (which make almost no sense to grill, where they routinely dry out). Perhaps we associate wings with frying, or they seem like too much work for the amount of meat that they yield. This is a mistake; the grill is the perfect place for the wing.

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Posted in American


  1. all_onda said...

    yes, but use drumsticks !

  2. Ed Sikorski said...

    I had to comment on this. For years, I’ve been grilling wings for friends and it wasn’t until last year that I found out; they are my friends ONLY because of my wings! Sad. But it brings some comfort, right? (and a friend that enjoys my wings sent me your NYTimes link)

    This all started when I was at a football party and a close friend was grilling wings. I never saw that done and it made sense: most of the fat burns off. So I decided to try this at home but instead of fresh wings (very messy and awkward for a bachelor’s galley kitchen), I went with flash-frozen in a bag (one can buy frozen wings from a supermarket freezer section, or from a bulk box store like BJs or Sam’s Club). Grilling frozen wings requires an earlier start to cooking the wings, because they need to go on the grill frozen. The bonus to this is, they are moist to receive spices when they start thawing. As they grill, I season with cajun spices (I prefer Chef Paul Prudhomme’s poultry mix) and move them around the hot spots of my Weber grill. When done, they can be eaten dry, but next is the crucial part: sticks of unsalted butter and Frank’s hot sauce-simmered low. Now something magical takes place in the sauce when the wings are added: the seasoning on the wings and the simmering bright orange sauce change to a deep, volcanic red. I don’t leave the wings in too long, but just enough to add heat back and coat. The wings get hotter, as you add later to the sauce (hotter means spice-heat, not temp).
    The usual celery and blue cheese (variations of this with dressing or chunk) will assist those in need, but I prefer small potato rolls to calm the fire. Oh, and any cold beer or a new favourite for non-drinkers: coca cola from Mexico…it has cane sugar, not fructose.
    Recommend: plenty of napkins or papertowels, and dental picks in the bathroom for guests.
    PS. I am enjoying your Cook Everything App on my iPhone!

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