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:


1/3 cup soy sauce


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar


2 cloves garlic, minced


1 teaspoon grated ginger root


1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2 medium green onions, thinly sliced


For wings:


24 large whole chicken wings


1 dash Hungarian sweet paprika


For teriyaki sauce:


1/3 cup soy sauce


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar


2 cloves garlic, minced


1 teaspoon grated ginger root


2 medium green onions, thinly sliced


1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


1. For marinade: Combine the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger root and pepper in a small saucepan.


2. Gently heat on low just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in green onions. Place the chicken wings in a large zip-close freezer bag.


3. Pour in the cooled teriyaki marinade, squeeze out the air and seal. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade over the wings. Refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.


4. For baking the wings: Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil and place a cooling rack on the bottom of the pan.


5. Place the chicken wings on the rack, cover them with the marinade from the bag, and sprinkle generously with paprika. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.


6. Remove the foil, raise the oven temperature to 425 and bake another 15 minutes to brown the skin. If the chicken has not browned, place the tray under the broiler, watching carefully.


7. For teriyaki sauce: Combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and pepper in a small saucepan. Gently boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Watch carefully so it does not boil over.


8. Remove from heat, stir in the garlic and ginger root, and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the green onions.


9. For serving: Toss the finished wings with half of the teriyaki sauce, place on a platter and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. Make 6 servings.


Fried chicken wings


3 pounds chicken wings


1 1/2 cups buttermilk


3 eggs, lightly beaten


1 3/4 cups flour


2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt


1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1/4 teaspoon onion powder


1/8 teaspoon baking powder


Vegetable oil for frying


1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional, for garnish


1. Place the chicken wings and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir to combine.


2. Cover and refrigerate the wings for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.


3. Place the beaten eggs in a medium sized bowl. Place the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and baking powder in a second bowl.


4. Place the beaten eggs in a medium sized bowl. Place the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion and baking powders in a second bowl.


5. Take each chicken wing out of the buttermilk mixture. One at a time, coat the chicken wings in the flour, then dip in the egg, then coat again in the flour. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated.


6. Heat 3 inches of oil in a large deep pot to 350 degrees.


7. Cook 6 to 8 pieces of chicken at a time for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.


8. Drain on paper towels, then serve. Garnish with parsley if desired. Makes 8 servings.

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