You guys know how much I just LOVE chicken wings, don’t ya? To give you some idea I’ve already published five other posts about wings and I’m sure I’ve alluded to wings in at least six other posts (I’ve linked to the good ones below.) There’s not much more I can add to the pre-existing wing conversation; however, I will reiterate that I absolutely love crisp & chewy skin, I adore the moist tender meat within, and I find irresistible what I like to call the “primal gnaw”, that nearly instinctual desire to chew cooked meat off of bones, using only your hands, in a greasy-fingered manner that recalls primitive man. It’s primal and messy and communal and well, fun.
My usual M.O. when making wings is to par-cook them; first I’ll bake them at a low temperature until about 80% cooked and then I’ll fry them until crisp. This two-pronged approach yields perfectly crisp wings every time. However, cooking them this way means you can’t really infuse the chicken itself with a lot of other flavorings (dried spices and marinades will dissipate the instant the wing hits the hot oil) and you need a finishing sauce of some kind to add some zest — classic Buffalo sauce, bbq sauce, honey-soy sauces, etc. I love the sauces, don’t get me wrong, but the longer the wings are saturated with sauce the father away they get from the skin-crunch ideal.
And of course you can achieve very flavorful wings with other methods — low-oil skillet-frying, grilling — but they don’t come close to deep-frying for crispy skin. I wanted a wing that was shot-through with flavor but came close to the great crispity-crunchity of fried wings. After a little tinkering I found a method that was worth sharing: high-heat roasting wings that have been coated with a moist dry rub, finished under the broil. The results were awesome — crisp and flavorful with no moist sauce to undercut the crunch. I ended up drizzling the still-hot wings with a wee bit of honey and they were AWESOME!
- 12 largish chicken wings (tips removed) cut into 24 individual pieces
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or anything similar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a little extra when you cook them
- honey for a last-minute drizzle
Now do this:
Put the cut wings into a large mixing bowl. Mix all the dried spices together and dump it over the wings. Using your hands coat the wings thoroughly with spices. Add the mirin, the soy sauce, and the oil. Coat wings thoroughly with wet ingredients and stick them into a ziploc bag. Wait impatiently for 24 hours. Preheat oven to 525º.
Place wings on a rack set over a sheet pan. Roast wings for 10 or 12 minutes or until the edges of the wings look crisp but not charred. Remove the pan from the oven and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes. Set the oven to broil and place a rack about six inches from the heating element.
Drizzle a little vegetable oil on the “up-side” of the wings. Broil 1 or 2 minutes or until nicely crunchy and a bit charred. Flip the wings and repeat the oil and the broil. Congrats! Your wings are finished.
Drizzle with a little honey if you wish.
Why are they called Rock N Roll Wings? Why not? They rock.
Check out my earlier wing-related posts:
Crispy Wok-Fried Wings: https://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/crispy-wok-fried-chicken-wings/
Honey-Ginger Chicken Wings, Again: https://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/honey-ginger-chicken-wings-again/
Late-Night-Guilty-Pleasure Wings: https://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/late-night-guilty-pleasure-chicken-wings/
Chicken Wings & The Primal Gnaw: https://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/chicken-wings-the-primal-gnaw/
It’s Game Time: https://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/its-game-time/