THE BIG GAME DAY – CHICKEN WING BLITZ
No Big Game party (or any party, for that fact) is complete without a full line up of Chicken Wings. The MVP of chicken wings has always been the Buffalo Hot Wings. But, it may come as a surprise, but the Buffalo Hot Wing is not always considered everyone’s MVP.
So, I’ve come up with a way to…
Offer a variety of Chicken Wings
Keep you from spending the entire game in the kitchen
And, avoid the last major tackle looking like it happened in your kitchen instead of on TV.
Each chicken wing recipe has a distinct flavor of its own. But they all share one thing in common, they’re baked. I’m leaving the deep fried wings to the restaurant world. They have the commercial equipment to do it easily and the staff to clean up the spattering mess. The other benefit to baking is it gives you time while they’re in the oven (an hour or so) to watch the game and enjoy your guests. If you deep fry, you’re committed to frying, tossing with sauce and serving immediately.
Each recipe calls for 2 to 2 ½ lbs. of chicken wings, about 3-4 servings assuming you have lots of other game food. If you have chicken wing fanatics at your party, you may want to double the recipe.
I used chicken raised in Michigan from a smaller sustainable farmer. The chicken flavor is more intense and the meat is incredible moist. To help you estimate how much you want to make, I got nine wings per pound.
Cut chicken wings at each joint. Keep the drumette and wingette. Discard the wing tip.
Rinse the chicken wings in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Put the dried chicken wings in your refrigerator overnight or for at least one hour prior to cooking. This helps to dry out the chicken skin, which will create a crisper crust.
Seasoning your chicken wings.
Toss them with baking powder and salt. Sounds strange? This little tip is what’s going to lead to that beautiful golden crispy skin. The salt draws moisture to the surface of the skin where it will evaporate. Then the acid and alkali (which makes up the Baking Powder) enhanced this process even further. The acid breaks down the proteins within the skin and the alkali accelerates the browning. Golden crispy skin without deep frying. If you’re making the Parmesan Garlic Wings, you’ll be tossing with some additional seasonings.
Baking your chicken wings.
I’ve baked the chicken wings on a wire rack insert in a baking sheet and directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The wired rack allows for circulation around the wings. But, In all honesty, how many of us have enough racks to cook a lot of chicken wings. Baking directly on the pan works fine too.
We start on a low heat of 250 degrees for 30 minutes. This will slowly melt off the fat underneath the skin. Raise the temperature to 425 degrees cook for an additional 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. The wings need to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Toss with your wing sauce.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AHEAD OF TIME OR THE DAY BEFORE
• Cut your wings into drumettes and wingettes. Refrigerate overnight or at least one hour before cooking.
• Create your sauce for the Buffalo Hot Wings and the Thai Curry Chicken Wings. You’ll need to reheat them before tossing with hot chicken wings. Whisky thoroughly to reincorporate the butter.
• Create your spice mixtures for the Parmesan Garlic Wings
• Create your Spiced Up Blue Cheese and Dijon Mustard Dip