Monday, August 4, 2008

Hot wings, baby!

It's the season of the pigskin and I'm jonesing for chicken.
Last night's Hall of Fame game between the Colts and the Redskins was little more than a scrimmage match, but it marked the beginning of the NFL season. Soon enough, I'll be screaming and swearing at the television as my beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers tear my heart out once more.
For the moment though, the Bucs are undefeated and we have nothing but promise before us.
To mark the occasion, I did what I always do: I threw in the one DVD I own and relived the Bucs' 2002 championship season and the beating we laid down on the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Football calls for football food, and for this event, I chose hot wings.
Rather than frying the wings and tossing them in sauce (which is typical), I grilled them and basted them in the sauce. The beauty of cooking them this way is the wings pick up the flavor of the grill and the sauce adheres to the chicken. It's also easier to dip the chicken in blue cheese sauce when they're not dripping with wing sauce.
The Redskins won the meaningless game (the only kind of game I can support them winning) and we still have a month before the regular season begins.
But with a belly full of hot wings and dreams of another Bucs Super Bowl win, I'm about as happy as I'll be until January.

Grilled hot wings

25 chicken wings
1 bottle of hot sauce (I buy something cheap and relatively mild. Buy what you like)
3 tbs. honey
1/2 stick of butter (room temperature)
Rub or salt and pepper to taste

Blue cheese sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (recommended: Cabrales, St. Agur or Maytag)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The day before you plan to grill the chicken wings, apply a rub. I use a variation of Steven Raichlen's rub. If you want to skip the rub, salt and pepper the wings to taste before you toss them on the grill.

For the blue cheese sauce, mix together all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
If you're using a gas grill, pull the wings out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you get started. If you're using a charcoal grill, pull the chicken out when you light the charcoal.
In a sauce pot, add the whole bottle of hot sauce (I used a bottle of Frank's Red Hot and a little Texas Pete I had left over) and bring up to a boil. When the sauce is boiling, add the butter, honey and stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes and set aside.

When the grill is ready, add the chicken wings and cook with the lid on for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the skin facing the heat browns and begins to crisp. Flip the wings and grill for another 5 minutes with the lid closed.

Using a brush, apply the wing sauce and grill for 3 minutes. Flip, add the rest of the sauce and grill for 3 more minutes.

That's it. Pull 'em, dip 'em and eat 'em.

No comments: