I have been married to chicken wings for 25 years and our relationship is still extremely strong. One thing that keeps the love affair alive is breaking up the monotony of “hot wings” and getting a little freaky from time to time.
Here are three ways of switching things up in your chicken wing routine. At the end of this post is a “breakthrough” I had for grilling wings no matter what you like to put on them…I can’t freaking believe it took me this long to figure it out!!
Inject and Baste
This is a pretty cool trick I picked up from somewhere off the internet. I made up a standard “Hot Wing Sauce” (equal parts margarine and hot sauce) but instead of dunking the wings in the sauce after grilling I injected the sauce into the wing. I used Parkay since it blends easily at room temperature.
The wing flat was easy to inject. The flat readily swelled up and took up a ton of sauce. The drumette was a little harder to inject and pushed some of the sauce back out at me.
I seasoned the skin with a little salt and pepper then grilled on high heat for about 15 minutes. The wings got basted with the sauce and turned about every five minutes.
When these guys were done they had crisp skin, a beautiful color and were a whole lot hotter than they appear. This is a method I am really happy with and will be using again!
Sweet Citrus Punch
The “Punch” in the title comes from the heat of the jalapenos that punches you in the face after you have been lulled into a false sense of security by the sweet citrus, ginger flavor of the sauce.
- Juice of 4 large, plump limes
- 7 Jalapenos, stems removed, rough chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled, rough chopped
- 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and rough chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves/stems
Simmer the veggies in the lime juice for 5-10 minutes. Throw everything into a blender cup and pulse with a hand blender until everything is a smooth sauce. Reserve 1/3 of the sauce to pour over the wings after they have grilled.
Marinate your wings in the Sweet Citrus Punch for a few hours. Overnight is better but who the heck can wait?
Grill the wings over medium high heat and turn often. I was surprised by how sweet the sauce was and how easily it could scorch on the wings if I didn’t pay attention.
When the wings are done, dress with the reserved sauce and dig in.
You get a wonderfully bright lime/cilantro profile with the shallots and ginger providing some great flavor depth and then…DAMN THOSE JALAPENOS ARE HOTTTT!
Alabama White Sauce
I recently discovered Alabama White Sauce and, as advertised, it is THE BOMB on chicken. I know, it just doesn’t look right. Trust me, it’s fantastic!
These wings were dusted with some Memphis Style Rib Rub and grilled over high heat. Wings were coated with Alabama White Sauce that had been stored in the refrigerator for three days.
There is a HUGE difference between this sauce when made fresh and when it has had time to bloom. The fresh sauce is delicious and tastes similar to Ranch dressing. After it ages in the refrigerator for a few days the horseradish really develops and brings a whole new level of awesomeness.
Here is the recipe I use for Alabama White Sauce:
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 Tbls white sugar
- 1 Tbls black pepper
- 1 Tbls granulated garlic
- 2 tsp prepared horseradish
And the “breakthrough” for grilling wings?? Cut them up after you grill them, not before.
Almost everybody prefers to eat wing sections instead of whole wings. However, I hate slicing raw wings into sections. It coats my hands, knife and cutting board in raw chicken slime and it’s not always a simple cut. I sometimes get a lot of resistance at the joint and have to apply more force that I want while holding a slippery knife.
It is also much easier for me to grill whole wings instead of wing sections. I have lost more than one wing flat when it slipped between the slots on the grate.
This sounds so damn simple but it never occurred to me that I could grill the wings whole and cut them into sections after grilling! No dealing with raw chicken slime and the wings cut so much easier after they have been grilled.
I hope you enjoyed the post and can take away a few ideas to try the next time you grill chicken wings.