Just winging it


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Delicious chicken wings will be very popular at your next gathering, or even for a dinner with just your family.

Couldn’t resist checking out the national food days for July 29. That day is National Chicken Wing Day.


The wing is my favorite part of a chicken (for a meal or snack), but I am very picky about it.


Many years ago, a local grocery store used to have a deli item that drew me in more times than I care to admit. They used to make delicious fried chicken, and they would take some of the wings and dip them in a delicious Buffalo-style sauce. They must have been pressure fried, because those wings were so tender the meat would fall off the bone at first bite. Plus, the sauce wasn’t too hot, too sweet or too tangy.


I felt devastated when that store stopped selling those wings. I have never had any that good ever since, not even at businesses that specialize in wings.


While on the subject, what is it with those things called “boneless chicken wings”? Those aren’t even wings. I am not saying people don’t enjoy them, but why label them as wings? You know nobody processes them by picking and poking and trying to de-bone real wings.


I am not a fan of chicken nuggets, so I have to have the real thing.


One more complaint: The practice of keeping cooked chicken parts under warming lamps makes me want to boo and hiss. Good way to dry out chicken.


Well, I will spare my dear kitchen pals from having to endure any more of my grievances, and present the recipes. Stay safe from the fires and try to stay cool.


Oven baked honey garlic wings


40 to 50 chicken wing sections


1/3 cup flour


Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


1 tablespoon olive oil


Sauce:


1/2 cup honey


4 tablespoons soy sauce


4 large garlic cloves, crushed or pressed


1 tablespoon finely diced ginger


1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1/3 cup water


1 teaspoon corn starch (or more, if necessary)


1. Preheat oven to 425. Dry wings with paper towels.


2. Toss wings with flour, salt and pepper. Remove any excess flour and brush with olive oil.


3. Line a pan with foil and then place parchment paper on top (you may need 2 pans). Arrange wing sections on the parchment paper and bake 35 minutes turning after 20 minutes.


4. While the wings are baking, combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Sauce should be slightly thickened and coat the back of a spoon.


5. Remove wings from oven, toss with sauce and return to the oven for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.


6. Allow to cool 10 minutes. As the sauce cools, it thickens. Stir the wings every few minutes to coat them. Makes about 12 servings, as appetizers.


Grilled chicken wings


2 pounds chicken wings


Spice mixture:


Zest of 1 lemon


2 teaspoons kosher salt


1 teaspoon smoked paprika


1 teaspoon garlic powder


1 teaspoon onion powder


1 teaspoon dried thyme


1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Sauce:


1/2 cup mayonnaise


Juice of 1 lemon


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


2 teaspoons horseradish


2 teaspoons chopped chives


1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Crystal or similar type


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon zest, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and cayenne. Pat chicken wings dry and place in a large bowl. Add spice mixture and toss to coat.


2. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Oil grill grates with vegetable oil. Add wings and cook, stirring occasionally, until skin is crisp and meat is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.


3. While wings are cooking, prepare sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, horseradish, chives, and hot sauce.


4. Serve grilled wings hot along with the dipping sauce. Makes 4 servings.


Oven-baked teriyaki wings


For marinade: