Chicken wings are messy to eat but that's part of the enjoyment. It's nearly impossible to use a knife and fork so use your fingers. Chicken wings have three parts. Cut off the tips and save for use in making chicken broth. Separate the remaining two pieces at the joint into a drummette, so called because it looks like a drumstick and a narrower piece. You can fry, bake or grill chicken wings.
Frying exposes food surfaces to the high temperatures of the oil which immediately evaporate off any moisture. That's one of the reasons why the oil bubbles up when you first put food into a deep fryer. This evaporation leads to a crispy crust to the foods, whether they've been dipped in a coating or fried by themselves. Even herbs will fry up to a crisp texture. Classic buffalo wings depend on the process of frying the wings and then dipping into a spicy hot sauce.
To fry chicken wings, use bread crumbs, batter, beaten eggs and flour to coat them before frying. Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Immerse the wings into the oil. Don't crowd the pan. The wings should take about six minutes per side.
Baked or Roasted
Bake chicken wings at a higher temperature, such as 450 degrees F., for a crispy skin on the outside while the meat stays moist on the inside. It's not quite as crispy as frying. Be careful you don't bake too long or the meat becomes dried out. Marinating the wings in citrus juices and spices adds flavors and helps keep the meat moist. If you prefer chicken wings not quite so crunchy, bake at 350 F. for a longer time. Marinate chicken wings in yogurt or buttermilk for tenderness. Shake off excess before baking.
The smoky flavor of grilling permeates the meat of chicken wings. Chicken wings don't take as long to grill as larger pieces such as drumsticks because there's less meat and they're not as thick.
Wings benefit from being dipped into a flavorful sauce after they've been cooked. Sauces may be hot and spicy such as Buffalo, Southwest and Mexican sauces; Asian such as teriyaki and sweet and sour; or barbecue based. Create easy sauces by mixing equal parts lime juice and brown sugar with a kiss of cayenne pepper, or try equal parts mustard with honey.
Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 F. to avoid any problems of salmonella. Using an instant read meat thermometer is advisable but difficult in the case of chicken wings. The end of the thermometer has to be pushed into the flesh of the chicken without touching the bone. The bones in chicken wings make that difficult. Cut open a chicken wing at its thickest part. The juices should run clear with no tinge of pink. The flesh should be a creamy white with no hint of translucence.
- "Party Food"; Barbara Kafka; 1992
- "License to Grill"; Chris Schlesinger; 1997
- aste of Home: Deep Fried Chicken Wings
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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