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Just wing it


If you are planning a Father’s Day feast, it’s hard to go wrong with baked or grilled chicken wings.


June is the month when we enjoy our Father’s Day celebrations. We have plenty of time to think about what Dad or Grandad might enjoy, as June 21 is the big day.

Lots of men would be happy to be presented with a platter of treats to eat while they watch TV, read or work on one of their favorite hobbies. Chicken wings come in very handy in that case, so I would like to share a few of my favorites with you.

And since a lot of dads like to run the barbecue grill, even on their special day, we might as well look at a couple of recipes that are great for the grill.

I hope you are enjoying life as we venture into warmer weather and summertime activities.

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


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.

Dry rub baked wings

3 pounds chicken wings

3 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)

2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon salt, to taste

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder or granules

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1. Preheat oven to 200. Place a wire cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil. In a large bowl, place the wings.

2. In a small bowl, mix paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder and cayenne pepper (if using).

3. Sprinkle the seasoning mix evenly over all of the chicken wings, then rub evenly all over the chicken. Place the wings on the cooling rack.

4. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the wings over, increase oven temperature to 250 and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Note: I find that the wings cook in less time, but perhaps it just depends on the size. Some wings are small while others are quite large. Check often to be sure they don’t dry out.

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


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.

Sweet grilled wings

Allow time to marinate the chicken.

3 pounds chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces, wing tips removed and discarded

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry

4 medium garlic cloves, minced


1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh pineapple

2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon naturally sweetened pineapple juice

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

1. To prepare chicken: Place the brown sugar, soy sauce, sake or sherry and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag and mix to combine. Add the chicken, seal (pressing out any excess air), and turn the bag to coat the chicken evenly. Place in the refrigerator and marinate, turning occasionally, for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

2. Place chicken pieces on a grill or in a grill basket with a long handle to make them easier to turn. Grill wings without turning, over a medium-high heat, until the meat starts to pull away from the bone and the skin is a deep golden brown, bubbling, and crisped, about 12 minutes. Flip wings over and continue grilling until that side is also charred and crisp.

3. For sauce: Place all ingredients except the cornstarch-water mixture and sesame seeds in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes or longer if necessary. Add the cornstarch mixture, whisk to combine, and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.

4. Add the cooked wings to the sauce and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Makes about 24 pieces.


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