Crispy Wings... From the Grill?

Head directly to the recipe page if you're bored by stories.

Equal parts Sriracha & Honey for a wing delivering hefty doses of both heat and sweet.  I call them "Diablo Kisses."

Story

As it stands, this is the 5th post to the website and already the 2nd about wings.  While a proponent of diversification, I am also a fan of learning and perfecting.  By making a change to a recipe I thought was already finalized, I'm simply driving home the point that just about any dish can be adjusted into something better.  It's really the whole point of the site.  Learn by doing, make it better, and send back to the place it came... the internet.  A second post about wings in such a small group of recipes wouldn't be posted if it wasn't worth it.  Hope you enjoy this enough to think the same.



Inspiration

Same as last time.  Short version of this story is "I like wings," spoken similarly as Dax Shepard saying "I like money" in Idiocracy.  What initially inspired a change to this recipe was the very popular post to Reddit's RecipeGifs,  Honey BBQ Chicken Wings.  If you recall, my original inspiration came from this page over at www.recipetineats.com. 

Fresh from the grill and tossed in honey mustard dressing.

While credited for inspiring a recipe redo, you may notice there were no instructions to include baking powder in the gif.  As the star of the show in the previous ingredient list, it absolutely played a role in the final result of the original Crispy Oven Baked Wings, and it will definitely be included in this recipe.  Frozen wings are typically packaged with chicken broth to enhance flavor and help preserve the product.  The baking powder assists in removing this excess moisture from the wings throughout the cooking process. 

Although my experience frying food in my own kitchen is limited, each time I have made something good it always had cornstarch as an ingredient.  After recently trying out Bang Bang Chicken over at Damn Delicious, I knew my final wing recipe would include something other than just flour.  While thin, the dusting of flour and cornstarch on these wings adds a crunch to the final product you wouldn't think possible without coming from hot oil.

How these wings are cooked is just as important as the new ingredient list.  The first method is the same as before.  Starting in the oven at a low temperature of 250F/120C, the outer fatty layer of the wing gums up in preparation of maximum crispiness with a finishing temperature of 425F/220C.  My boy Alton Brown has his own wing recipe where he instructs you to steam the wings prior to putting them in the oven at a high temp.  While effective and intuitive, I don't think his method adds anything to the crispiness that our varying oven temperature doesn't already accomplish.  Fewer dishes doing it our way too!

While it is just fine being cooked in an oven as described, these wings achieve another level of flavor when cooked over a tall flame of a gas grill.  As the high and rapid heat of the grill quickly cooks the chicken, layers of fat inside the wings begins to liquefy.  The escaping fat is absorbed by the flour/cornstarch coating which is essentially fried as it continues to cook.



MADNESS

  • 2 to 4 pounds of thawed wings.
  • 1/4 cup white flour.
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch.
  • 1.5 to 2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder (DO NOT use baking soda!).
  • 1 tsp salt, Accent, or unseasoned meet tenderizer.
  • 1 tsp paprika.
  • 1 tsp Garlic or Onion Powder.

METHOD (Grilling)

  • Thaw and pat dry the wings.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and assorted spices.
  • In a large freezer bag mix the wings with the dry ingredients.  Shake well until wings are equally covered.
  • Get all of your burners running high until your grill temperature has gone over 400F/205C degrees. 
  • As your grill heats up, use your wire brush to clean off the grates and then apply some high smoking point fat to prevent the wings from sticking (dabbing a thick paper towel into some Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, or melted shortening will do the trick).
  • Spread your wings out over the grates, close the grill, and reduce the flame to medium high. 
  • While keeping your heat between 400F/205C & 450F/232C, flip wings every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent any burning.
  • Continue cooking for 12 to 20 minutes.  Time will vary depending on your grill.
  • Place wings in a bowl with a generous amount of your favorite sauce and toss to coat.
  • Serve with celery and ranch or blue cheese!

METHOD (Oven)

  • Thaw and pat dry the wings.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and assorted spices.
  • In a large freezer bag mix the wings with the dry ingredients.  Shake well until wings are equally covered.
  • Preheat oven to 250F/120C.
  • Space the wings out evenly over a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Put wings in the oven for 30 minutes on 250F/120C.
  • At the end of 30 minutes leave the wings in the oven, but bump the heat up to 425F/220C and set the timer for another 30 minutes.
  • At the end of 30 minutes on the increased temperature, remove the wings from the oven and flip them.
  • Put the wings back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes at 425F/220C.
  • Remove wings from oven.  Even with oil the wings will stick to the baking sheet, but peel off nicely after resting for a few minutes.
  • Place wings in a bowl with a generous amount of your favorite sauce and toss to coat.
  • Serve with celery and ranch or blue cheese!


ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

Not sure I ever would have expected a wing recipe to be the root of a striking culinary epiphany, but in the case of this recipe it certainly was.  I managed to take a recipe I deemed to be at or near perfection and made it even better. 

I really don't plan on making another wing post... at least not for a while anyways.  As long as you include cornstarch and baking powder, the rest can be swapped for something similar.  Take this recipe and add something that makes them unique for you.  Initially I was trying to replicate a good local wing night at home.  With this recent recipe upgrade I can confidently proclaim MY wing night is superior to anything coming out of a dive bar fryer.

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