Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl - Super Dish: Baked Chicken Wings

Baked Honey-Garlic Wings

Tenacious Transformation - Chicken Wings:
My boyfriend and I have been frying our wings to absolute perfection for the last three years and they got even better when Matt received a "Fry Daddy" for Christmas last year. Although deep frying makes just about anything taste good, it obviously packs a ton of fat and calories into your food. Wings are definitely one of our favorites and not something to pass up on Super Bowl Sunday! Thankfully, I've found a way to cut out some of the bad stuff and still retain that delicious crispyness that makes them so irresistible. Even better, here's a double dose of yummy: wings two ways! The classic Buffalo style "hot" and a sweet garlicy twist! Be sure to make lots, they surely won't last long!

What you'll need:
  • 4-5 lbs of chicken wings and drumettes 
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper for baking pans
  • 2 sealable tupperware bowls, for saucing

For the "hot" wings:
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite hot sauce (Matt prefers Frank's)
  • 3-6 tablespoons of butter, depending on tolerance for "hotness"
  • Dash of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to season wings

For the honey garlic wings:
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of chicken broth 
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of powdered mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • Dash of garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to season wings

Recipe: Serves 5-7 people at 6-10 wings per person (rough estimate - depends on size of wings in package)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Divide wings into two piles, one for the hot and one for the honey-garlic
  3. Season each pile with respective seasonings
  4. Separate wings onto greased pan or parchment paper in pan 
  5. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 15-20 min 
  6. While wings are in the oven, heat both sauces over medium heat. Allow honey-garlic sauce to reduce for about 10 till semi-thick. For the hot sauce, the butter just needs to be melted and incorporated into the sauce, no reduction needed.
  7. Pull the wings out of the oven and elevate temperature to 425 degrees.
  8. Brush wings with either sauce on all sides and place wings back into the oven
  9. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
  10. Pour remaining sauce into tupperware bowls and shake wings inside to fully coat
  11. Secretly set aside your portion because these little guys will go fast!

Tenacious Tips:
  • Instead of serving fries or other fatening dips, cut up some fresh carrots and celery. They help cut the spicy flavor in your mouth. Also, you can make your own light organic ranch dressing! I have been able to find an organic dressing mix at my local organic grocier and I substitute in light ingredients. If you can't find a premaid mix, here's a simple recipe: 1 tablespoon of dry parsley, teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dry dill, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and celery seed, mix the dry ingredients with 1/2 cup of low fat organic milk, 1/4 cup of organic light sour cream and 1/4 cup of light mayonnaise. Make it vegan by using 1/2 cup low cal plain milk substitute and 1/2 cup of light canola oil mayo! 
  • For even richer taste, I use a chicken demi-glace instead of straight chicken broth. The kind from Williams-Sonoma is what my mother calls "liquid gold". Its really easy to store in your refrigerator and make your own chicken "broth" whenever you need it, instead of letting those huge boxes go to waste if you just need a little. If you are finicky about organic, Dartagnan, has a duck and veal demi-glace that would also work just fine. 
  • To cut time, you can serve your wings right out of the oven instead of "double dipping" them. I coat them twice because we like ours wet, but if you prefer them on the dryer, less messy side you can nix this step.
  • UPDATE: After making these last night, I found that some of the wings drained a little fat onto the pan when I took them out of the oven after the first 20 min. Its helpful to drain that off if you can before sticking the wings back in the oven so they aren't just wallowing in calories. Also, because the honey-garlic wings contain a good amount of sugar, be careful not to sauce them too much before sticking them back in the oven. At the high temperature, the sugar starts to burn and get really sticky-- gross! So, just a light brush will do. Finally, it can also be helpful to turn the wings at least once while cooking, maybe when you take them out the first time, just so that all sides can get extra crispy!

Baked Buffalo "Hot" Wings

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