“See kids? This? This is a tendon! It connects the muscle of the wing! This ligament connects the bones together…and when I pull it….see…the wing moves!”
And that was my introduction to the chicken wing courtesy of Mr. Arnold Vogel, distinguished educator of 7th grade biology. Mr. Vogel – always clad in my mind in his signature white turtle neck (because it was 1989) – was quick with a sigh, THE king of the eye-roll, and brilliant in his explanations of content*.
However, he has forever ruined the chicken wing for me.
Wings, as you see, are not my thing. However, I live in Texas. Here, football is king. During the “fall” (Fall? Please…we don’t have “fall”. It’s 90 degrees in September and gets down to the upper 70s in October…), people around these parts make an entire weekend out of football. Football = parties = food.
If you want to look like a major rock star at a party, whip up these wings.
(Ok, they’re not “wings”. They’re drummettes…but they still have tendons and that still makes them gross to me…you all enjoy, though).
Smokey Chipotle Chicken Wings
There are two parts to this recipe: The Rub and The Wings. Both of these recipes will make between 2 and 2.5lbs of wings.
- 2 tbs Chili Powder
- 1.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp Chipotle Chili Pepper Powder
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tbs Canola Oil – I like to use canola oil here because it has a high flash point which means that you can heat it to a high temperature before it burns AND because it doesn’t have a strong flavor to interfere with the many strong flavors of this recipe.
- Juice of Half a Lime – Best way to get juice from a lime: Microwave for 15-20 seconds. Then remove and roll the lime back and forth on a hard surface. This loosens everything up. Cut the lime in half and hold half of the lime fruit-up-peel-down in you hand (the fruit is facing your palm) and squeeze.
- 1 tsp Chicken Broth
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- Combine the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
- Add the canola oil, lime juice, and chicken broth and whisk together. The mixture should look like this:
- Set the rub aside.
- 2 – 2.5 lbs Chicken Drumettes
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- The Rub (see above)
- Bowl with Rub Mixture
- Foil and/or Cling Wrap
- Baking Sheet – Cover this in foil. The wings will bubble and juice and really? Who wants to scrub that nonsense off a pan?
- Tongs – (Do you have a pair of tongs? Like the big ones with the lever-button at the end to make them stay closed or pop open? If not, get some…get two sets even. These are tools that you can’t live without in the kitchen, trust me. Once you have them, you will not know how you ever cooked without them.)
- Fork the drumettes (Yes, fork them. Take the fork and poke a few holes through the skin and meat of each drumette. You are going to be marinating these and you will want the flavor to seep in.)
- Season the drumettes with salt and pepper. Easy on the salt as there is salt in the rub.
- Place the drumettes – about 1/2 lb at a time into the mixing bowl with the rub. Toss them or stir them to coat and then add the next batch.
- Once all of the wings are in the bowl and coated with rub, cover the bowl with foil or cling wrap and place it in the fridge for a few hours…at least 2.
- Go have a good run or a glass of wine or clean your house (this is how I spend two free hours…) or whatever you prefer.
- After at least two hours, you are ready to cook. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Dig the bowl of wings out of the fridge. Line 1-2 baking sheets with foil.
- Place the wings side-by-side on the baking sheet.
- Discard any remaining rub.
- Place the wings in the oven.
- Bake for about 20 minutes.
- When the wings are about done…(internal temp between 165-170 F), turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Do whatever you need to do to make this transition.
- Place the wings under the broiler and broil until the skins are a golden brown. You will know when they are ready.
- Confirm that the temperature is 180 F. (Or close to that. I do mine a little under, but I am not advocating that you do the same…not when I am without counsel anyway…)
- Remove and let rest. Resting will allow the juices to relax and stay within the wings which is where you want them to be.
- Serve and enjoy!
A Note on Serving: Above is a shot with Homemade Bleu Cheese Dip (recipe will be here shortly). I am a huge fan of serving these wings with red pepper strips to cool the bite of the spice in the wings:
* Kings Play Cards On Fridays Generally Speaking! This is a mnemonic for Biological Classification: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species! See? I still remember. I don’t remember the names of The New Kids on the Block (sorry, it was 1989)..but I remember this!