My son was home on leave and one of the foods he requested was bbq wings. Imagine our soldiers being deprived of their wings? Say it ain’t so! If my boy wants finger lickin wings, wings are what he gets. If you have always wanted to learn how to make your own, I hope this recipe helps.
When choosing your wings, look for ones that are bigger and have a good amount of meat on them. No reason to pay for just bones. When I find some on sale I stock up because they do tend to cost over $3 a pound. Rinse them off and them place them in a bowl. Pour the milk until the wings are completely covered. How much this will take depends on the number of wings in your dish. Let them soak for several hours or even all night, it won’t hurt them. Drain off the milk from the wings.
This next step is very important for safety reasons. Your chicken must be totally dry before putting in hot oil. Place them on paper towels and pat dry. When you think they are dry enough, pat some more. You can also place them in the fridge uncovered for a few hours and that will help dry out the skin as well. Anytime you put water into hot oil you are going to get splatters and this is the cause of many burns when people are deep frying food.
Choose your favorite oil and keep in mind it’s smoking point. For deep frying you need oils with a higher smoking point. The page below has a list of oils and the temperatures at which they will start to smoke.
Choose your cooking vessel. If you are going to do it on the stove top I prefer a cast iron skillet or pot because it will retain heat better and provide a consistent temperature for the oil. Today I used my Salad Master electric skillet. It is better than the typical electric skillet because when it heats you don’t have hot spots where the coil lays under the cooking surface. If you use an electric fryer read your owner’s manual for it’s recommendations. For all pan frying, make sure there is enough oil to go up half of the wings once they are in the pan. Heat the oil to 325 degrees. Higher than that and you risk burning the chicken or yourself as it splatters. Lower then that and the chicken will absorb much of the oil and you won’t get that crispy skin.
Season the chicken with salt and garlic powder. For a 4 lb bag I used 2 tp of each. Use tongs to place the chicken in the oil. Be sure not to over crowd the pan as this will cause the temperature of the oil to drop too much. You may find that in order to keep your oil at 325 degrees you have to turn the temperature of your fryer up. Between batches make sure you allow time for the oil to come back up to temp as well. When placing the chicken in the oil do it by laying it down away from you. This ensures that if it does splatter it will do so away from you. I prefer to use a splatter screen on the pan. While a lid will keep the oil in, it also keeps steam in and this will again prevent the skin from getting crispy.
As you can see from the photo above, I also use the splatter screen to let the chicken drain a few seconds. Then I transfer it to a baking sheet in the oven (set at warm). I have used a cooling rack on the sheet to elevate the chicken. This allows the extra grease to drip off without getting the skin soggy. Once I have finished frying all the wings, I move them to a new baking sheet and begin to apply the sauce.
As you can see from the photo above I do not put very much on. Use a pastry brush to spread it around and place it in a 500 degree oven. Keep an eye on them because once that sauce gets nice and thick you want to pull the wings back out. Mix them up and apply another thin layer of sauce and return to the oven.
Do it a third time and on the fourth time, apply a thicker coat and put under the broiler. By now your bbq wings should look like this.
Once you have mastered the techniques you will find that making your own bbq wings is well worth the effort.