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Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Hot Wing Report: Self-Made Tasty Treat...

I could eat me some yard bird every day of the week. My dad has a long history as the King of the Barbecued Chicken making his own special sauce and knowing just when to turn the bird and just when to pull it. Sadly, I was not blessed with this skill and though I love chicken and love to cook on the grill, most would agree that as a general rule, my chicken is always either undercooked to the point of e-coli concerns, or burnt to the point that people politely choose the steak or the sausage.

But, I still love me some chicken and like many people, enjoy a wing or two with a beer. Given my poor scorecard in the chicken department, I have never really tried to make my own wings but rather relied on buying frozen, pre-made, stick 'em in the oven brands or the occasional trip to Pizza Hut for their version.

But today, during our trip to HEB Plus I had somewhat of a thought go through my mind as we passed by the chicken section; wings! I picked up a pack of pre-cut, ready to cook chicken wings, and in the back of my mind, I figured if I chickened out, my wife could always fry them up. She has no problem with making chicken.

Anyway, I get home and immediately consult the Google and magically find a web page all about hot stuff and a step by step instruction on making Hot Wings. You should note (as I learned during the course of my research) there is a difference between wings or Hot Wings and Buffalo Wings. Do not get these two confused; Buffalo Wings do not get breaded (floured).

So, either go to the link here and learn how the pros do it, or sit back and watch me step by step produce the BEST wings I have tasted, bar none. And I ain't kidding'.
I mixed me up some flour, some paprika, some pepper and some salt. After cleaning off the chicken, I gave them a good toss in the flour mixture then, and this is important, then I go ahead and throw them in the fridge for an hour or so.
Next, get the ol' skillet going with the oil of your choice - I chose a Motorcraft Synthetic Blend (just kidding). Get your oil heated up and get ready for some frying action. I started the stove on high, but found pretty quickly that I needed to lower it down quite a bit to avoid the huge splatter action. Plus, I had read that you should cook them for 12 minutes, but they were going way too fast at the higher heat.
Just as they were starting to get golden, I took an ice pick (you can use a fork) and poked each of the wings before turning them over.

I ended up settling on about 9 minutes to cook the wings and of course, your cooking time may vary. But when I pulled the first batch out, I knew they were good to go.
As I was frying the subsequent batches (I cooked them 6 wings at a time), I started heating up my wing sauce. I must tell you that I stared at the sauce selection for about 5 minutes. Some of your traditional Hooter's sauce or the Anchor Bar brand are almost $5.00 a bottle. Given this was my first try, I was more interested in a bottle of sauce in the $1.79 range.
I ended up with Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce and let me tell you, it was a good choice. I heated up a pan with a few tablespoons of better and poured in the sauce to get it all warm and ready to receive the now fried wings.
I know that the standard procedure is to sort of toss the wings in a bowl with the sauce just so you get the outside of the skin coated, but instead, I plopped the wings in the sauce pan, six at a time to let them get good and wet.
Next, I set them back in my holding tray so any excess sauce could drip off.
When everything was said and done, it was go time! I'm telling you, for the price of the package of wings (about $3.50), the cost of the sauce (about $2.50) and the bottle of Bleu Cheese dressing - you gotta use Bleu Cheese, not Ranch ($1.79), and of course the mess I had to clean up in the kitchen, this was one tasty treat, and I don't mean maybe.

Now that I've done it, I'll be sure to try different flavors.
Tell me about your wings and your favorite sauce.


The Bridegroom said...

Personally, I'm a big fan of Wingstop over there on Bandera/Gilbeau, but I've never tried to make them myself. I guess you could say I'm too chicken. Either that, or I'm just not big on cleaning up the mess. Maybe a bit of both.

Albatross said...

Hmm, I've never actually thought about making wings myself. You seemed to do a pretty good job, and those wings certainly look tasty!

You may have just inspired me.

Dave said...

I should comment about the mess involved. If you routinely fry things or have one of those Fry-Daddy kinda deals, you probably won;t have as much spillage and popping of grease as I did. In spite of my starting the heat off too high, it really wasn't anything more than a good wiping down of the stove top.

I will try that Wing Stop over on Gilbeau but one place I will not be back to is the Buffalo Wild Wings over on 151/410. That place just doesn't do it for me.

Blonde Goddess said...

I'm gonna try that recipe. I love hot wings and I think a basket of them with a couple of cold beers makes life grand.

Shorty said...

I'll have to give your process a try too. I love me the wings, but not the hot stuff. The most I can handle is mild, and that's with some kind of dressing. I usually do ranch, but I'll have to try the one you recommend. Now granted me and cooking aren't on such good terms, but this looks like even I could handle it (without having to worry about those grease burns that jessica simpson subjected herself too). Also I've tried Wingstop, Hooters, Dominos, and Pizza Hut wings (possibly Buffalo Wild Wings too). My favs so far are Dominos.

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