Purists will tell you there is no substitution for deep-fried chicken wings. I used to think that too, and, if you want to stay wed to that train of thought, for the time being, it's still a free country. While wings that are oven-fried or grilled can't technically be referred to as Buffalo wings (no self-respecting Buffalo-wing-maker cooks them in the oven or on the grill), wings that are oven-fried or grilled really can be as good as deep-fried wings. I make wings all three ways, I know.
Whenever I have a lot of wings to make for a indoor party or outdoor tailgate, during the Winter months, I turn on my oven, and, during the Summer months, I fire up my grill. Why? Deep-fried wings, while marvelous, are time consuming to prepare. Deep-frying in batches of 6-8 at a time for 12-13 minutes a batch -- it's not hard to do, but it is definitely hands-on. Oven-frying and grilling gets them all done at the same time and the process is almost entirely hands-free.
Chicken wings have enough of internal and external fat that pretty much all they need to cook to a crispy state of affairs (besides having the skin as dry as possible) is to be placed on a wire rack inserted into a large baking pan in a very hot oven. To find out how I do it, just click on the Related Article link below, ~ Seriously E-Z Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings ~.
Oven-fried wings = hot oven. Grilled wings = indirect heat.
The only thing one can do wrong when grilling chicken wings is to place them over seething-hot direct heat. Chicken wings have so much internal and external fat, that, if you do that, they will go up in flames before you can count to three. They will be burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. Even if you manage not to burn them, you will dry them out. To grill wings perfectly, think low-and-slow over indirect heat for about 40-45 minutes. If you can adopt that mindset, the fat will render, the skin will get golden brown and crispy, and, the wings will be plump and juicy too.
Imagine wings that are golden & crispy on the outside w/a classic grilled, slightly-smoky taste combined w/a favorite sauce.
5 pounds chicken wings
at their two joints, into 3 sections: the drumette, the flat wing, and the "skinny" wing tip. Using paper towels, pat the pieces dry. Some folks like to fry and eat the wing tips -- I don't. Without the wing tips, this recipe will yield 36-40 appetizers or 8-12 servings at 3-4 per person.
Note: The flavorful wing tips can must be frozen and used to make chicken stock at a later date.
Season wings w/freshly-ground sea salt & peppercorn blend:
1/4 teaspoon each, ground: cayenne pepper, ginger, mace, dry English mustard
1/8 teaspoon each, ground: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt
~Step 1. Place all ingredients, as listed in a 3-quart saucier over low heat. Using a large spoon, stir constantly, until ingredients are thoroughly combined and peach preserves and sugars are melted. Adjust heat to medium-high to simmer vigorously, whisking constantly to avoid scorching, for exactly 3 minutes. Sauce will be nicely thickened. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool for 1 hour prior to serving warm. For a smooth texture, place in a blender or a food processor. Refrigerate for several weeks or freeze for several months.
Toss chicken wings in enough sauce to coat & enjoy ASAP!
Special Equipment List: poultry shears; paper towels; gas grill; long-handled grilling tongs; 3-quart saucier w/lid, or a 2-3-4-quart saucepan w/lid; cutting board; chef's knife; large spoon
Cook's Note: A lot of people are just plain afraid of deep-frying and I can appreciate that. That said, thanks to the relatively inexpensive deep-fryers on the market today that make it mess-free, I've become a fearless fryer. If you would like to learn how to safely and easily deep-fry some real-deal chicken wings, Buffalo-style, just click into Categories 1, 2 or 17 to get my recipe: ~ JoePa's Chicken Wings (Perfectly Deep-Fried Wings) ~.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)