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Chicken wing memories.

I’m sure the first taste of a chicken wing came from the family wok. Braised and sticky with a copious pile of black beans. It was one of the classic dishes from my grandparents. A serving of wonderful soup, and that time-honoured bowl of rice, which, despite my best efforts as a kid, I could never seem to escape.

The second taste came marinated in soy and sugar, off the neighbour’s hibachi. Like Pavlov’s bell, the dipping fat hitting the heat filled your mouth with drool as it filled the block with smoke.

Fast forward a few years, the first time I cooked them for myself, the wings came out of a plastic bag full of I-have-no-idea-when-it-was-made spices and bread crumbs. While I don’t think I’ve touched a box of Shake n Bake in over a decade, it seems like the rest of the world has discovered chicken wings in that time. Typically, the home chicken wing tends to be greasy, fatty, and messy. Although some would argue that’s half the fun.

Easier and cleaner than the deep fryer, but not the impatient, we end up in the oven.

Spicy BBQ Oven Wings

(Taken from Mark Bittman)

8 medium sized wings (or 16 wing pieces and/or drummettes)
Coarse Salt
Fresh cracked Black Pepper
Habanero Hot Sauce to taste
1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce (Cattleboyz, or homemade is good)
2 tbls Oil

Parchment Paper
Large Baking Sheet/Pan

This recipe is based on using convection. If you don’t have convection, increase the time for the 1st two bakings by 5minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F w/convection

1 In a medium bowl, toss wings with oil, salt and pepper (season lightly if doing Salt n Pepper wings)

2 Mix bbq sauce with desired amount of hot sauce to taste.

3 Place a large sheet of parchment paper in pan, making sure it overlaps the rim/edge to keep drippings in, spread wings out, flat side down. Bake 25 minutes on the middle or lower middle rack (not the bottom)

4 Remove pan, drain off fat, and flip the wings. Bake another 15min, remove and drain any remaining oil from pan, place wings in clean bowl.

5 Increase oven to 450F. Toss wings with BBQ sauce and spread out on pan flat side up and bake for 7-10min until crispy, slightly charred. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Salt n Pepper:

Lightly season wings with salt before going into the oven. Instead of tossing in BBQ sauce, sprinkle wings with course salt and pepper.

1/4 cup mild hot sauce (Franks, Durkee’s, Lousianna, etc) + a dash of tabasco or habanero – edit: I actually use Franks Xtra Hot
4 tbls unsalted butter, melted
2 tbls sherry vinegar
1 tbls minced garlic
1-2 tsp turbinado/raw sugar (optional)

Mix ingredients to make sauce, use in place of bbq sauce. This is enough sauce for about 16 full wings (32 winglets/drumettes). Recipe can be easily halved.

After tossing the wings in the hot sauce and placing back in the pan, spoon some sauce on top of the wings.