Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Chicken wings hard to make at home

To see how well homemade wings would fare next to the takeout and other prepared chicken wings, we tried a basic Buffalo-style oven-roasted recipe. We marinated the wings briefly then roasted them at 450 degrees about 30 minutes, before tossing them in a classic butter-hot sauce mixture.

But as you can see, our wings didn't turn out well in the taste test, finishing in eighth place. The flavor of the roasted wings was OK, but their texture was soggy and they looked pale and unappealing. (We dubbed them "Chuck's White Wings.")

After the disappointing showing, we tried improving our roasted wings recipe. To make them more crispy, we roasted the wings at a higher temperature (475 degrees) for a longer time (about 45 minutes). And we put them on a wire rack, to get the wings up out of the rendered fat in the pan.

The wings turned out more brown and crispy this time, although we're not sure they would've conquered Domino's in the taste test.

Spicy Oven-Roasted Wings

3 pounds chicken wings

11/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 + 2 tablespoons Tabasco or hot sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Remove and discard (or freeze for making chicken stock) wing tips. Separate each wing into 2 pieces at joint. Rinse wings and drain well. Blot dry with paper towels.

Whisk together salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon Tabasco and oil. Toss wings in mixture to coat well and marinate in bowl at room temperature up to an hour, or overnight, refrigerated.

Before roasting, allow wings to sit at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Drain and discard wing marinade and arrange wings in single layer, skin side up, on wire rack in shallow baking pan. Place pan in center of preheated oven and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, until browned and crispy.

Remove wings from oven and allow to cool and drain on rack a few minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar and 2 tablespoons Tabasco. Toss roasted wings with butter mixture until coated well. Makes about 24 wings.

Chuck Martin

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