What’s the best way to say this? I. LOVE. TO. GRILL! Now that you know this little secret about me, let me share one of my favorite sauces that I like to make while cooking. First I want to acknowledge that a lot of people are intimidated when it comes to dealing with MEAT and FIRE. This type of cooking has been going on way before Man realized that wearing white after Labor Day was unacceptable. Besides eating sushi or raw fruits/veggies I can’t imagine a more natural way to enjoy food. Regardless of your belief of how and when we got here once Man found fire he also found his love for a Medium T-Bone steak. I’m just saying.
In this article I’m going to share with you TWO different ways to prepare chicken wings. One will be for you go-getters out there who love to put meat on fire, and the other will be for the less adventurous group who likes to play it safe.
If you are ready to receive your fire badge in scouting then you will take the road I love to travel by and go fire up that grill! Even with grilling you still have options on how you actually want to achieve AWESOMENESS. You can use “Propane, and Propane accessories”-Hank Hill or you can use Charcoal. I personally prefer using gas since you can control the heat and when you’re done, you’re done! With charcoal you will have to move up to the advance cooking class since this will require a lot more concentration and skill set to master this form of cooking. Charcoal will definitely give you that authentic home cooked flavor, however it will also give your wings 5th degree burns really quickly if you don’t pay attention!
Ok so enough about that. Let’s cook!
Propane: Cut your grill up to medium-high heat to get the grates nice and hot for the initial sear when you lay the wing down. After placing the wings on the grill for a couple of minutes, lower the heat and flip those bad boys over. At this point there should be a little color as well as grill marks on outside so that you can keep up with when to turn your wings. Keep rotating so that each sides gets crispy brown skin. Don’t wait to long to add the sauce, the last 10-15 minutes of cooking should give you enough time to let the flavors marinate all the way through.
Charcoal: After you have your nice and red hot you will have to work a lot harder than your gas friend up there because now it’s all about the Indirect Heat method. Ten out of 10 times your grill is going to be extremely hot in the center where you have nonchalantly piled all the charcoal and set it on fire with half a can of lighter fluid. Once you have brought the level 3 fire down to burning red coals you will need to place the wings on the outer perimeter so that you can control how quickly your wings will cook.
There is no way I’m going to say it will take approximately (fill in the blank) minutes and your wings will be perfect. I can’t sell myself out like that. But I can tell you that the food will let you know when it’s done. Chicken wings start of pale, soft and flabby-just like a newborn baby! Then in the toddler years they will make a lot of noise by hissing and spitting juices everywhere (terrible two’s phase). This is when you have to constantly watch them and move them around to make sure they don’t burn up. Once they become teenagers they have more color to them, stay to themselves and become firmer. They think that they are grown however on the inside they still haven’t developed yet. (I’m 15 and I know everything and my parents are lame phase) And then we come to the adult phase. Now it’s time to sauce em’ up. They have graduated college and ready for the real world. CONGRATULATIONS! You raised your wings right. They have earned the privilege to become a part of the meal.
Now for those of you who choose to bake/broil the wings instead of grilling not only do I give you a serious side eye but I will give you what you need to attempt to duplicate that outdoor flavor without actually going OUTDOORS!!
After seasoning your wings with the dry ingredients (salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder) your oven should already be on and ready for action at 400 degrees. You are going to lay the wings out in the pan and leave them uncovered. The point is to get that skin crispy as if it had been lying out in the sun all Summer. That crunch is what you are looking for, we want savory crispy wings not soggy chicken pieces. So after 50 minutes (half a Lifetime movie) you want to check and see if those wings have plumped up
and start turning brown like this.
Alrighty then, your wings are ready to be sauced up! At this point you want to add all that finger licking goodness to the chicken so that they can be joined for eternity in flavor heaven. I actually would add the sauce probably around the 40 min mark just so that it gets in there all the way to the bone! Once you have the wings sauced and crispy now it’s time to crank up the heat and cut the broiler on. This will allow the wings to get more color and tighten up the skin just as if you had grilled them. Now is the time to pay attention to what’s going on in the oven instead of pouring that next glass of wine. Things can go from happy-go-lucky cooking time to OH GOD WHERE’S THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER?! Please check on your wings every 5 minutes until they are at the level that you prefer. The sugar in the peach preserves will heat up and become sticky, this will also cause the wings to “burn” more on the outside so unless you want wings that look like tar I suggest you watch them carefully.
This is what I have come up with after cooking in the oven and plating.
So below you will find the recipe for the Spicy Peach Sauce that I have talked about this whole time. The great part about this is the fact that almost any sauce can be substituted based on whatever flavor your palate is looking for at the time. I love complex sauces that make you think about what you are actually tasting. If you are going to eat something good, you might as well do it right!
- 2 tablespoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ stick butter
- 2 ounces of minced garlic
- ½ cup peach preserves
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Preparation & cooking
- Prepare wing mixture in advance to let them marinate. Mix salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- Add chicken wings and toss to coat.
- Grill the wings.
- Melt the butter in medium saucepan with the garlic.
- Stir in the peach preserves, hot sauce, and soy sauce. Cook until syrupy and thick (stir so it doesn’t clump) about 5 minutes.
- Transfer sauce to a large bowl.
- Add the wings to the sauce and toss.