• I can remember years ago stopping at Antonelli's poultry on federal hill and buying wings for
  • 5 lbs. for a dollar. My kids loved grilled wings so every summer on the weekend I would pick up 10 - 15 lbs. of wings and head down to the lake house. I would wind up grilling them, sometimes twice a day. Chicken wings are one of the hottest appetizers in America; hottest as in popularity. And. there is quite a selection of different cooking methods also. Who likes them grilled, broiled, deep fried, oriental style, the rednecks want them barbequed, the tough guy's want them buffalo; make-um five alarm, HOT, HOT, HOT. All said and done they are all quite simple to prepare and I have listed several simple recipes for cooking wings.
  • Let's start with the wings themselves; buy them fresh. If grilling, leave them whole in all three sections so they won't fall through the grating. With any other method, cut them in three sections and discard the wing tip but don't throw it out. Freeze them and use them in your chicken soup; you do make your own soup, right. If you are going to deep fry them, save some time and buy them frozen all breaded and par cooked. In the restaurant business most places use a brand called WingDings which I think are the best but I don't think they are available to the public unless you want to buy 10-15 lbs. at a time. They are made by Pierce Chicken Products which is part of the Pilgrim's Pride Chicken Company. Tyson also makes something like this as well as other companies.


1. In a lightly oiled baking pan add a few pounds of wing sections and pour in a cheap bottle of Italian dressing then toss well. Let it sit for about a hour or so tossing occasionally and preheat the oven to 350 - 400°. Cover the wings with some foil and let cook for 35 - 40 minutes then remove foil. Continue to bake until fully cooked and tender. You can eat just this way or broil to brown. Another great method is after you transfer them to the broiling tray brush some AH-SO sauce and broil until it starts turning burnt in some spots. AH-SO sauce can be found in most major markets. This is a great way to make chicken leg quarters as well but cook them a little longer.
2. If you have a small deep fryer as use the par cooked wings don't put too many in at a time. The biggest problem with home type fryers is they can't recoup the heat fast enough. The first time I used one some years ago I was cooking a batch calamari and by the time the heat got back to temp. the entire batch was stuck together in a ball. Very impressive especially when your quests are watching. Rule of thumb in deep frying is when the food floats to the top, it's done. If you do use the par cooked wings do not add any further seasoning before you drop it in the oil because it will just burn off. When done, serve with some honey mustard sauce or duck sauce.
3. Buffalo style: fry them the same way as above and just toss them in the buffalo sauce. Gotcha! OK, uno momento! In a sauté pan over med. heat add some butter and melt then add some Frank's Hot Sauce and blend well. A tablespoon of butter to a 1/4 cup of Frank's will be just fine; adjust accordingly. Toss the wings in the sauce until coated well and serve with a chunky blue cheese sauce and julienne cut celery.
4. Grill-em: Sprinkle with a little magic or some S & P and granulated garlic then place them on a grill meat side up at a med. to med. / high heat. Keep an eye on them; with chicken, you get grease and with grease you get flare-up. There is nothing wrong with a little flame as long as the chicken doesn't catch on fire. Flip them over and re-season if required. Grill until you can twist the joints apart; there is not much meat on them so don't over cook. (Option): when just about done, turn meat side up, baste with the AH-SO, flip back over and burn slightly. Or, baste with barbeque sauce and do the same.

MAGIC??? What is it? Everyone has heard of this but there really is 'no magic' in it. Many major Chef's use magic for grilling and some even have their own private labeled on your grocers shelf, which I'm sure you've seen. After you read the ingredients, you can be creative with the spices you think will go well with what you are grilling. E.g. fish, pork chicken, veggies, etc. Start with 1/3 each: sugar, Kosher salt, granulated or powdered garlic; (granulated is better). Now add some pepper and any other spice you have on your spice rack that you like or think would go well with what you are cooking. E.g. nutmeg, onion powder, cinnamon, sage. Thyme, chili powder, Cajun, whatever. Use generously.

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Submitted 6/15/05.