Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Recipe: Sweet Buffalo Wings

Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach. – James Beard, Beard on Food

Tasty, sweet and hot Buffalo-style chicken wings.
"Preheat oven to 400°F. Place wings on a foil-lined baking sheet and heat on middle rack for 20-25 minutes, turning once."

Those are the directions on the back of one of the more famous brands of frozen chicken wings for sale at our local grocery stores. The cost for those 2 dozen wings? About $12.99.

What if I told you that you could make your own chicken wings – every bit as tasty – in about the same amount of time? I was surprised too. The sauce itself is made from ingredients you most probably already have. 

Chicken wings, like every other cut of meat we use for outdoor grilling, seem to increase in price as the weather turns warmer. It must be all the additional refrigeration necessary to keep them cold in the stores… But if you keep an eye open for sales, they do happen. Snap them up.

Chicken wings are the sort of thing that have endless variations. Honey garlic, teriyaki, Thai, you name it. This day I decided to make Sweet Buffalo Wings. The marinade/sauce was simplicity itself and can be tweaked hotter or milder depending on your own personal preference. That's the benefit of making your own. Whatever flavour you make you can tailor to your own specific tastes.

Preparing wings is simple and only takes a few minutes. You remove the wing tips (the 1/3 where the long feathers would have been) and then cut the remaining into two pieces at the joint. 

The wing tips can be boiled with some celery, carrot and onion to make chicken stock so nothing goes to waste.

There is one difference between my directions and the store variety. When you place the wings on a rack there is no need to turn them as the heat circulates completely around.

These wings are baked, but don't have to be. The recipe can also be used on the grill, but as I've said before my barbecue is broken, so I'm stuck with the oven for now. This method works exceptionally well so you can have chicken wings whatever time of the year.

Try these wings. You'll be very pleased with the result!

Line the baking sheet with foil. I didn't. Lesson learned.
Baked Sweet Buffalo Wings
Prep: 10 min  |  Marinate: 1-2 hours  |  Bake 30-40 min
10-12 chicken wings
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup hot sauce
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce

Trim the wing tips off the chicken wings and cut the remaining piece in two at the joint.

In a non-reactive bowl (ceramic or glass), or a sealable bag, combine all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the wings and toss to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap (if using a bowl) and let marinate on the counter for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Place the wings on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil (makes for easier clean-up). Bake for between 30-40 minutes. No need to turn.

Serve with thin potato wedges (baked at the same time) and corn on the cob.

The secret to perfect corn: boil for 5 minutes (yes, 5) in well salted water.


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