It is not hard to make good wings. The chicken and the farmer have already done the hard part. If you choose plump, juicy wings and prepare them properly it is pretty hard to mess them up too badly.
Excellence in making chicken wings requires a deeper dedication. For restaurant quality (or better) wings every time, try these simple tips-
1) BRINE- Brining the chicken assures that juicy meat will be under the crunchy, savory coating. Place chicken in a pot or large sealable container. Combine brine ingredients and pour over chicken. Place in fridge overnight or up to 36 hrs. This is one I use all the time-
1 quart of unsweetened green tea (cooled)
2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice
1/4 cup of Kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic sliced thin
2) USE THE RIGHT OIL- If you are frying your wings (medium heat), use the right oil. Use peanut (my favorite), canola or vegetable oils, because they have the high smoke point that will ensure crispy skin. This will seal in the moisture and guarantee the meat is cooked thoroughly.
3) NO FRY, NO PROBLEM- If you hate frying but want crisp wings, we have two options for you.
BAKED- The wings are tossed with a tiny bit of baking powder (not soda!) in your coating to alter the PH of the skin, making them get crispier than ever.
SOUS VIDE BBQ- The sous vide method of cooking is amazing for locking in flavor and assuring a well cooked wing. They are fully cooked when you hit them with a finishing sauce or rub and grill them for a crispy coating.
4) SEASON WITH REASON- For fried wings, dust with flour and seasoning before cooking. Don’t over season at this point. Let them sit for ten minutes before frying to let the skin bond with the coating.
5) SAUCE UP (OR DUST) AFTER COOKING–
2/3 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot® or Crystal)
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter.
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Alabama White Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
½ Tbsp prepared horseradish.
1 Tbsp hot sauce
2 Tbsp Lemon juice.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Old Bay Dry Rub
1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
6) DIPS-Wings are made for dipping. Whether you’re on team ranch or team blue cheese, make sure your dip is delicious. Choose a store-bought brand that you really love the taste of (I like Marie’s). Easy to make your own.
Bleu Cheese Dip
1/2 cup sour cream.
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese.
1/4 cup mayonnaise.
1 small clove garlic, chopped.
1 tablespoon milk or buttermilk.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper