I know what you're thinking. What on EARTH, Cari? Why would I make chicken wings at home when Quaker Steak and Lube is right down the street? I thought the same thing until I saw this week's episode of Worst Cooks in America with Bobby Flay (heartthrob) and Anne Burrell (I'm sure she's a heartthrob to someone…). My question for you is this, if the worst cooks (literally) in our country can do it, why can't I? Ok, if your competitive spirit isn't heating up with that, let me tell you the second benefit. These babies are SO much cheaper to make at home than they are to buy via takeout. I am talking less than 50 cents per wing, and we get 12 when we're done cookin'.
I adapted this recipe from two that I found on my awesome Food Network app – one of which was Bobby Dean's chicken wing recipe. His did not call for a dry rub, but I wanted these to be a little spicy, so I made my own. I didn't make his cheese dip, but made the gorgonzola dip from the bottom of this recipe instead (I changed it a bit to make it healthier, and added the celery salt in – it just needed a little somethin' somethin' else).
Now, listen friends, before you start on this chicken wing journey…cooking these is not for the faint of heart. I had NO idea what cutting chicken wings would be like, and I must say that I went screaming out of the kitchen when I heard the bones crunch and saw some things that cannot be unseen. Mr. Grumpy came to the rescue (and clucked like a chicken the entire time he was cutting them up… thanks for your sensitivity, Mr. G) and cut them for me.
Also let me tell you that when you put the chickens in the oven, they move around ON THEIR OWN. Like we're talking Night of the Living Dead Chicken, here. I was very frightened. I do not know why this happened. I was sitting in front of the oven watching them, while Mr. G was clucking in the background:
(The bigger dip bowl is the creamy gorgonzola cilantro sauce, and the smaller is just ranch dressing. Mr. G. claims he doesn't like blue cheese, so I made him a special gorgonzola sauce, to which he reluctantly tried and… it's hard to tell if he liked it. He made a grumpy face, but dipped his celery and chicken in it a few more times…)
What You'll Need:
- Courage for cutting the chicken (or a Mr. G to assist you)
- 1-2 pounds of chicken wings (you need to cut the wing tips off and discard those. Then, separate what's left so there are two pieces of chicken – one that looks like a small drumstick and one that looks like a wing..); 12 wings total after you cut them
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 cup Frank's buffalo sauce
- 1/4 cup of honey
For the gorgonzola cilantro dip:
- 1/2 cup of Hellman's light mayo
- 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (or light sour cream)
- 4 oz gorgonzola cheese
- 1-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
First make the sauce because it has to sit in the fridge for around 60 minutes. Combine the mayo, greek yogurt, gorgonzola cheese, cilantro and celery salt in a bowl. Cover, and send it away to the fridge. Let it sit in there until your chicky wings are ready. Don't worry about it if it doesn't sit the full 60 – ours sat around 50 and it was tasty, tasty good.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare the chicken by cutting off the wing tips, and then separating the wing at the joint. (Here is what they will look like after you cut the wing tip off:)
Once the chickies are cut, rinse them in the sink, and pat them dry by rolling 4 at a time in a paper towel.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic salt and chili powder. Toss the chicken in my super special dry rub. Then, rub it into the skin of the chicken. Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil (or spray it with cooking spray, but that stuff skeeves me out, so I use the foil). Line the chickens on the pan like this:
Put them in the oven on the middle rack. Let them cook for 12 minutes, then remove them from the oven and flip them over. Put them back in the oven and cook for an additional 13 minutes. Your wingies should be 165 degrees when you're done.
While they cook, combine your buffalo sauce and honey in a bowl. Separate them into 1/4 cups.
Preheat your broiler (we have one that's got a "hi/"lo" setting. Not sure why they can't spell those words correctly when they make ovens, but alas. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit, so here I am) to … HI. Aka, this means HIGH in case you hadn't caught on. Lo stands for.. LOW. I mean it's one more letter, GE! Anyway…
When you take the chickens out of the oven, take 1/4 of our buffalo/honey mixture and brush them with the sauce. Place them in the broiler and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, remove 'em, flip 'em, brush on 1/4 cup of sauce and do it again – 3-4 minutes in the broiler. Remove the wings from the oven and toss them in the remaining sauce.
Get your glass of milk and roll of paper towels ready. Grab your gorgonzola cilantro sauce and some celery. It's time to eat!
Now, I have one more disclaimer. I did have more time than USUAL for a weeknight dinner to make these because Mr. G and I took a vacation day from work. I would say these take about an hour total to make, and about 5 minutes to devour. Mr. G said they were a bit spicy, and I told him that a wise man once told ME, "If you can't take the heat… get out of my kitchen."