|Wing magic. With harissa.|
|These are the roasted wings, with nothing on them yet. (Right?)|
There are two secrets, and here they are: salt and time—plenty of both. Basically, you salt the wings heavily and let them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours—ideally overnight or, less ideally, for the 20 minutes it takes your oven to preheat. I usually strike a middle ground in the 4-6 hour range. Then you put the wings in the oven and you leave them there to roast for a full hour, turning them halfway through—but only because you are bored and excited than because they actually need turning. Then you either eat them as is, because they are perfect, or you sauce them in any number of classic or high-end wing-saucing styles. That’s it.
|Are your proud of me for acknowledging the Super Bowl, even just obliquely?|
What happens is this: the salt seasons the meat to the bone, and the long heat renders all of the fat so that a) there is not a speck of flab on the finished wing and b) the wings end up frying in their own melted fat, turning perfectly, magically crisp. It’s a magical kind of one-two—like how, when there’s a Monday holiday, not only do you get the day off, BUT ALSO the week is only four days long. Let me clarify, though: if you prefer wings that you’d more likely describe as “juicy,” where you are happily gnawing flaccid meat laced through with rubbery veins, these are not your wings. But if you like wings where the deeply golden meat pulls clean off the bones in crisp-chewy shreds, then this is your method, trust me.
|BBQ. These are too sweet for me, but they are crowd-pleasers, especially when it comes to the younger set.|
|Although our friend Zaim maturely preferred the harissa ones.|
|Ben and our friend Sahar. Unstill Life with Chicken Wings.|
Chicken Wing Magic
This recipe can be easily multiplied. I usually double it to feed 6 serious wing-eaters with a couple unserious children thrown in the mix.
3 pounds chicken wings
3 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
Line a large rimmed pan with parchment paper (or the wings will stick). Arrange the chicken wings on the pan and salt them, first on one side and then on the other. Use all the salt. Cover the wings and refrigerate them for 4-6 hours (or, more ideally, overnight, or less ideally, for less time). Look at the gross picture down below to see about how spaced out the wings should be; if they're too crowded, they'll do more steaming than frying, so you should spread them onto a second pan.
Take the chicken out of the fridge and start heating your oven to 375. Put the chicken in the oven and roast for an hour until the wings are deeply golden, very crisp and frying in puddles of their own fat. I use small wings, but if yours are larger, they may take 30-45 minutes longer. If they are not browning for some reason, turn your oven up 25 degrees. I flip the wings halfway through the baking, but I think it’s just because I want to interact with them. That’s it. Then you'll sauce and serve, without putting them back in the oven.
Some saucing options. I find that something like ½ cup of whatever will sauce 3 pounds of wings without drowning them—but by all means scale it up, if that’s your thing. Methodwise, what you want to do is put the hot wings in a large lightweight bowl with the sauce of your choosing, so that you can flip them around restaurant style, coating the wings lightly but thoroughly. All of these are good.
- Classic Buffalo. ¼ cup of butter and ¼ cup of Frank’s Original Red Hot, melted together. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, if you like. (Edited to add: I now melt the butter in a tiny pot and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of flour and then the Frank's. It makes a creamier, clingier sauce.)
- BBQ. ½ cup of bottled barbecue sauce. (I know!)
- Harissa. ¼ cup of harissa mixed with the juice of ½ a lemon. Top with cilantro leaves.
- Miso-Citrus. 2 tablespoons of white miso stirred together first with 1 tablespoon of hot water and then with the juice and grated zest of ½ a tangerine or orange. Top with slivered scallions.
- Lime-Butter. ¼ cup melted butter, mixed with the juice and grated zest of 1 lime, 1 clove of minced garlic, a handful of chopped cilantro, salt to taste, and 1 (optional) teaspoon of sugar or honey.
- Chimichurri. ½ cup of finely chopped parsley mixed with ¼ cup each white vinegar and olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped capers, salt to taste, and an optional whiff of anchovies or fish sauce.
- The Ginger Vinaigrette from here.
(I stuck these two gross pictures down here.)
These look pretty great--will have to give them a try! If you don't mind a little extra hassle, this recipe from Kenji Lopez-Alt will produce wings that taste exactly like they came from the deep fryer at your local sports bar: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/02/the-best-buffalo-wings-oven-fried-wings-recipe.html. The baking soda does amazing things to the skin. But I am usually too lazy (not to mention pressed for fridge space) to toss and spread out the wings overnight, so I look forward to trying your method!ReplyDelete
Scrolling down and coming across that beautiful child I thought, "Wow! Birdie has changed so much!" and I was studying her face to note all the changes. Because it's Zaim. I'm not one of your brighter readers.ReplyDelete
These look so good. Our favorite local wing place closed down, so I might be making these for the Superbowl this year.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to try these! And you so perfectly described the kind of wings I hate. Rubbery veins--shudder.ReplyDelete
Yum! I live abroad where there are no Buffalo Wings to be had. I make them as you said but first coat them in olive oil, then fresh-squeezed lemon juice, then salt and pepper. Cook, turn, cook. Finish off with Texas Pete Hot Sauce that I bring with me from the USA + make blue cheese dipping dressing. Will have to make some wings this weekend!!!ReplyDelete
Awwww - is Birdy wearing a hand-me-down shirt from Ben? I remember when she used to be pictured in his little onesies!ReplyDelete
That's actually our friend Sahar! But she got a haircut that matches Birdy's. Thank you for remembering, though! xoDelete
Those beautiful children do look an awful lot like your beautiful children!Delete
Not to sound like a chicken-wing-ignoramus, but you do these w/the skin on, right?ReplyDelete
Wasn't there something on FB about "martini hair"? This recipe might have finally convinced me to make wings at home. I don't want to sauce them, though. Just roasted would be fine w/ me.ReplyDelete
Julia, that was an old Birdyism from here: http://benandbirdy.blogspot.com/2011/05/mmm-sauce.htmlDelete
Yay! I remember trying to convince you on a blog, oh so long ago, that you really could make delicious wings at home without resorting to deep frying!ReplyDelete
OMG, I totally remember that too! : )Delete
Thanks, these look great, and easy...but, did you complete the Clean program? How was it? Life-changing?ReplyDelete
I don't eat meat, but I'm studying your sauce options for potential on other vehicles.ReplyDelete
I saw some very appealing Cauliflower Wings!Delete
Question, how do you transport these to a party... Would throwing in a crockpot be a sin?ReplyDelete
Hi! Sorry for the delay. And, ugh. This is tricky because the crockpot is really going to un-crisp them. Don't get me wrong--they'll still be delicious. But not crisp. I think, ideally, you would transport them still on the baking sheet (you could crowd them all onto one) then reheat them for 20 minutes when you get there, then sauce them. Is that too awkward, though?Delete
so... we host every year... last year i made these (with drumsticks!)~ http://torriesessions.blogspot.com/2013/02/eat-your-heart-out.html... but since we're not hosting this year... i was going to take the easy way out and buy... but not anymore! making these! (my son was disappointed when i told him we were going to buy them, but this will make him happy :)) ps... meant to follow you after reading your christmas gift idea post (via dinner, a love story), but was so busy christmas shopping (like a mad woman), i forgot! will add your blog now!ReplyDelete
reporting back... these were INCREDIBLE. even better than the ones at the sports bar... just like you said.Delete
I have salted chicken wings in my fridge right now. I almost "chickened" out when the 3lb package looked so gross. Wish me luck.ReplyDelete
This looks delicious! And pics of raw chicken are gross.ReplyDelete
Question: I don't have room in my fridge for a cookie sheet. Could I toss the wings with salt in a bowl, put the bowl in the fridge to sit, and then put the wings on the cookie sheet just before I put them in the oven? Or is the fact that they are spread out on the cookie sheet somehow crucial to the process? Thanks, they sound great!ReplyDelete
I think that that should work fine. Please report back!Delete
These turned out just great, having lived in my fridge in a big bowl all day. Totally delish, even my chicken-bone-phobic 12 year old liked them. My only wrinkle: wings stuck badly to the tin foil. Next time I'd oil the foil (or the pan, and skip the foil).Delete
PS. in a bowl, UNCOVERED. Figured some of the moisture the salt pulled out needed to evaporate.Delete
This looks great. I have never made CWs. RE: sauce - do I toss a half of cup of sauce on them once they come out of the oven and then serve immediately? You don't put them back in the oven after you sauce them right? ThanksReplyDelete
That's right--it's sauce and serve. . .Delete
I think mine are too crowded and I am going to be very forward and post a photo on your wall to see if you will offer advice.ReplyDelete
They have been baking away for over an hour and I've cranked up the oven to 425 to achieve browning. Thickened some Trader Joe's Soy Teryaki marinade for the girl who likes Thai sweet chili wings (could not decide how to do that) and have BBQ sauce for the rest. Wish me well!ReplyDelete
Made these tonight - 3 lbs plain and 3 lbs Trader Joe's BBQ. Yum! I don't understand football at all but I do appreciate football food and these fit the bill perfectly. I salted them and then piled them up in a covered 9x13 cake pan due to space issues and that worked fine, for anyone wondering. Thank you Catherine!ReplyDelete
I made these last night...and they turned out great. First time too. Thanks for a great post.ReplyDelete
The wings were a total hit. When I went to buy them (and a bottle of sauce), our Whole Foods had the free sample people in the aisle, including a local man who makes barbecue sauce. I bought a bottle, but he also gave my kids, ages 2 and 5, wings to eat - In The Store! Can you imagine trying to shop while your preschoolers nosh a saucy wing? They looked utterly ridiculous by the time we got to the checkout. There wasn't a napkin in sight, but grins all around.ReplyDelete
These were so, so good. Thank you!ReplyDelete
These are awesome. Do you think the method would work as well with a whole chicken?ReplyDelete
We made these for the SuperBowl, and Catherine, they were amazing! They would rival any wings I've ever had. My family preferred them plain with Ranch for dipping. We will definitely be doing this again!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the recipe as they were super easy and super delicious. 5 people polished off 4 lbs of wings, which was great except our hosts had planned dinner and then no one was hungry! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for these! Made them for the Super Bowl. Kids made them AND loved them!ReplyDelete
I was also wondering if you think it will work for chicken drumsticks? Tried the wing recipe and loved it!ReplyDelete
Best. Wings. Ever. We've made these 3 times this week and we're all still yearning for more. We use the bottled Frank's Wing Sauce and add a little blue cheese dressing on the side - heaven!ReplyDelete
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Ack, I just realized that I bought whole wings, and it looks like yours are already segmented into the baby drumstick-y part and the other two-bone-y part. Do you think I need to separate them like yours, and cut off the wing tip? Hmmmm.ReplyDelete
Help! Every time we cook wings we set off the fire alarms in our house. Last time we had people knocking on our door to see if we were ok! Will the parchment paper help this? Any other suggestions?ReplyDelete
Newman! Long time reader, first time commenter. My husband made these and thank the gods because he has always lamented how it is impossible to bake chicken wings and have them taste like the grossly disgusting fried restaurant wings...until now. Thanks for your humour and recipes. Your butternut squash gratin is one of my holiday go-to's. Keep up the great work.ReplyDelete
Love chicken wings and spicy wings, especially made by Asian recipes, but I can never learn how to cook them, can cook chicken wings only in Wingeria game... Even if I do everything according to recipe, I always fail at the end :((ReplyDelete