My latest chicken wing attempt

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Senior Cook
Feb 2, 2005
This post is likely to get a little philosophical.

Here I was, thinking about how to finally achieve the perfect hot wing recipe, when I made a startling discovery: There is no perfect wing.

What I realized is that, armed with some skills in the kitchen and a dose of food science (I'm currently reading the latest edition of "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee), I can make literally any kind of wing I want.

The important part is not to find the perfect wing, but to be able to try out and enjoy so many different ideas and creations. The journey is the destination.

The being said, here is my latest try.

  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Three smashed-up garlic cloves
  • Safflower oil which is whisked in like a vinaigrette
I didn't measure any amounts, though I used less lemon juice and soy sauce than other ingredients. The soy sauce turned out to be important because it imparted a creaminess that was partially unexpected. Next time, I intend to try orange juice instead of lemon juice.

Cut up your wings and let them marinate overnight.

The next day, set your broiler and let it heat up. Place your wings on a cooling rack sitting on a sheet pan. (I had bad luck with broiler pans for this step, since they don't seem to like to drain. Just make sure the cooling rack you use can handle being in the oven, as some cannot.) Then place them under the broiler and let it go until it brown on one side, about 6-7 minutes or so. Then, turn your wings over and brown the other side. The wings should cook in the middle. Mine did, at least.

But while that's happening, let's make a sauce. This is just a variation on the marinade.
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • Lemon Juice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Sugar, or molasses
I used a small cast-iron skillet for this. First, brown the butter (you really don't need to, but I like the flavor this imparts), then turn the temp down and put in all the other ingredients. Let it simmer to thicken. I used sugar, but I suspect molasses will taste better.

Toss the finished wings in this sauce to coat. The final result is hot and a little sweet, with a ring of Chinese flavor to it.

Anyway, let me know what you think, if you decide to try this. I know I'll enjoy the journey. :)
In fact, I try to make it apply to all of my experiments. My cooking style is very "Iron Chef" when it comes down to it. :) It always has been, really, even before I saw the show.

I'll need to go defrost another bag of wings so I can give something another go tomorrow.
I like your philosophy.

I should start on my own "Wing Journey" here soon. I have LOTS of wing recipes, but rarely make any. I'm not really into Buffalo Wings, but I do like other recipes.
Thank you!

A local wing place where I used to live (in Colorado Springs, CO) had a lemon pepper flavor that was pretty tasty. I might give that a go next. I'll need to buy some more lemons first, though.
  • Zest a lemon, then juice it.
  • Mix the zest and juice with white pepper and salt and let it rest. (EDIT: Actually, I think you'd want some sugar in that mix, too.)
  • Toss to coat on already cooked wings.
I think that would work, anyway.

Having the right philosophy on any endeavor is the key to happiness. :)
There is this place called Wings Plus out here that makes some teriyaki wings w/ garlic that I have adapted to my home kitchen, using Vongerichten's recipe for Soy glazed roast chicken.

Approx 1c soy sauce, (trust me, use sodium free or 1/2 sodium sauce, or cut it w/ a 3-1 water)
Approx. 1/2 c OJ, or not
1 tbsp sliced ginger or a bit of ground ginger
sugar or honey 1/4c
mix & bring to boil
remove from heat

Baste your chix wings, put under broiler, I usually do mine about 15 minutes, which may be longer than they need to actusally cook, but it forms the crisp crust. Broil for 5 mins, baste again, broil another 5 mins, turn over, baste & broil 5 mins, then back over to the crispy side, broil another 2-3 mins, and remove from oven.
Mince up as much garlic as you like, like a clove per wing while broiling.
Place chix in dish, pour extra sauce over wings, and add minced garlic to top.
For dipping sauce, mix sour cream w/ whatever tickles your fancy and tastes good.
Dinner is served.
Think I'm making wings tonite, myself.
This recipe can also be used for a whole roasted chicken, but you add 1/4 c chiopped ginger to cavity of chickn, and you roast it, not broil it, and baste every 15 minutes for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hrs till juices run clear. But, sorry before you put the chix in the oven, you sear it in your ovenproof skillet/pan, which you will transfer to the oven.
The book is Simple to Spectacular, by J. Vongerichten.

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