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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Not-so-hot Wings

I'm sitting in a motel in Seattle, waiting. I don't have access to my cookbooks-of-inspiration. I'm also freezing, but that's beside the point.

My 8yo daughter loves chicken wings. Not hot wings, though, which is all I seem to be able to find. She can't have wheat, so they have to be real bone-in wings with no breading. Nobody does those in any flavor but HOT, not the Wally's World deli, or Papa John's (which lets me buy online and get it delivered to my door, how convenient, but they have NOTHING on their menu she can eat besides super-spicy hot wings), or any other take-out joint that sells wings. So I started a hunt for wings in the grocery store figuring I can cook up my own batch. Strike out at the grocery stores. Score at Wally's. They're good for some things.

She was excited when I told her I'd cook her wings. It's been years since I fried chicken. I winged it. Ba-dum-dum-DING. Anyway, they turned out very tasty. She was very happy.

Not-so-hot Wings

1.5 lbs wing pieces, skin on and bones inside (They cook better and they have great flavor, and they're usually cheap. If you can find whole wings, you can chop them up yourself. Find the joints in the wing. Use a big sharp knife to chop the joints apart. Discard the wing end, the part with no meat. The other two pieces are a wingette and a drumette, cause this one is shaped like a little drumstick. Leave the skin on.)
Seasoned salt, about 1 T.
1/2 c. oil
1 c. barbecue sauce, your favorite brand and flavor, or make your own. I still haven't mastered that art.

Arrange chicken on a plate or in a pan or whatever. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Set aside. Heat oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium heat. You can use another type of skillet, but cast iron really does work the best. You want the oil hot enough to sizzle when you add the chicken, but not so hot it smokes. CAUTION: hot oil is HOT. It will spatter while you cook. If you have a large metal saucepan lid handy, you can cover the pan to reduce the amount of spattering. Don't use a glass lid. Not a good idea. I have a big stockpot lid that works great.

Add the chicken to the skillet. You may need to cook two batches. You don't want to crowd it. You want the oil to stay hot and sizzling to get a nice crispiness on the skin. Cover the pan and let it sizzle for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the chicken wings to the other side, cover and cook another 5 minutes or so. Remove the lid and check your chicken. If it's getting crusty, you may want to reduce the heat a bit. If it's still pale, cook it a little longer. It usually takes about 12-15 minutes to cook wingettes. Drumettes take a teensy bit longer because the meat tends to be thicker. If you want to test, take out one of the medium thick pieces and cut it down to the bone. The meat should no longer be pink inside.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and set it on a paper-towel lined plate to drain for just a couple of minutes. Put the chicken pieces in a bucket, I used a margarine tub (empty and clean, of course, we recycle at my house) and pour the BBQ sauce over the top. Use tongs or whatever you have to stir the pieces around until they are all coated. Let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Definitely finger licking time.