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Can my husband grill some good looking chicken wings or what?

Can my husband grill some good looking chicken wings or what?

The Best Chicken Wings We Ever Made

Hub’s a frying genius.  So, I found this new cookbook.  “SAVEUR The New Comfort Food – Home Cooking from Around the World”.  I love the magazine.  I was excited to see that they had published a new book. 

The recipes have been good, sometimes a little too boring for my taste.  But, who says you can’t spice it up a little or throw in some cheese?  And I must remind myself that a lot of people don’t want spicy when they want comfort.  Subtle flavors are good, too. 

Anyway, Hubbard is a frying genius.  He’s really got it down.  So, I suggested he make the Sweet-and-Spicy Korean Fried Chicken.  This recipe is made with chicken wings.  I love wings.  The technique is different, though.  You make a batter of water, flour and corn starch.  Toss the wings in the batter then fry.  Drain on paper towels.  Here’s what they looked like…

Could they be more golden and crispy?  They’re so perfect.  So, while they sit there doing nothing, you make the sauce.  Throw five or six ingredients in a small food processor or blender and you’re done with that.  Now, or whenever you feel like it, you fry the wings again.  Let them drain a while and then toss them with the sauce.  Of course, I was so eager to take a bite I forgot to take a picture.  Here’s the picture from the book…

Though I didn’t grab my camera, this was one of those cookbook moments.  What he had made actually looked better than the picture in the book.  And it tasted fabulous!  It was the texture that really made it.  That double frying and the corn starch produces then most lovely crunch.  Even covered with sauce these guys stayed crunchy.  So moist and perfectly cooked inside, too.

Forget the Ranch dressing for these wings.  I did think that if we made a teriyaki sauce to toss them in, that might be tasty.  Or maybe a lemon pepper sauce.  Or maybe…

Hubbard took a bite and said, “This recipe is worth the cost of the book”. 

I think he’s right.

Superbowl Sunday Hot Wings

I’m a freak for hot wings.  It’s my favorite thing to have delivered.  But, they’re even better if you go to the trouble to make them at home.  This recipe has been adapted from several that I tried over the years and there is  not a lot of precise instruction.  Just go for it!

Wash off, dry and salt the chicken.  The salt will draw out a little moisture and a bit of the chill goes away as it sits.  I don’t like to fry freezing cold chicken.  It drops the temp of the grease too much.

I have a spice mix that I took from a Paul Prudhomme recipe.  Here are the ingredients.  I usually make four times this much at a time and keep it around in a jar.  I think should at least double the recipe if you want to use some in your flour.

2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon white pepper

Shake this mixture to combine in a jar or plastic bag.  I put about a cup of flour in a plastic bag and add some of the seasoning.  Taste the flour to see if it’s spicy enough for you.  Then I shake about 4 chicken wing drummies at a time in the flour.  No milk or egg wash.  The moisture that is drawn out by the salt will be enough for a light coating of flour to stick.  Flour enough for one batch.  My skillet holds about 10 pieces.

Heat about 3/4 of an inch of oil in a skillet to about 350 degrees.  My thermometer is the type that clips on the side.  But, with that little grease in the pan, I just lay it faceside down in the pan.  Grease temp will go up and down while you’re cooking.  So, just keep on eye on it.  Smoking is not what you want.  Maybe a little vapor but not burning hot.  I have a gas stove and keep the temp set on between 7 and 8 while I’m frying. 

Add your floured pieces and cook each side about 5-7 minutes.  You want a big old sizzle when you start frying, reducing as the moisture is cooked out of the chicken. 

Meanwhile, the sauce.  Take about a stick and half of butter, cut it up into tablespoon size pieces.  Throw it into a small saucepan.  Toss in a couple of tablespoons of the seasoning, maybe three.  Add about 1/3 of a bottle of Louisiana hot  sauce.  Turn on the heat until the butter is just melted, stirring to combine and dissolve the seasonings.  Then take it off the heat.  As it cools, go by and stir it vigorously now and then.  This way you get a sauce that isn’t separated and oily.  The sauce is good at room temp when you dunk the chicken.  The chicken will be hot enough, the sauce doesn’t have to be.

As you finish batches, stick them in a low oven.  The lowest mine will go is 170.  So, that’s what they get.  I like to set them on a rack over papertowels because I want the chicken to stay crispy and not be sitting in grease. 

When you’ve fried all the chicken, take a pair of tongs and dip each piece in the sauce, completely submersing and then shaking off excess.  Pile ’em all on a platter and serve with extra sauce and, yes, ranch dressing or blue cheese.  Damn good.