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eG Cook-Off #88: Wings


Duvel
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Personally, as I noted earlier, I never understood the "classic Buffalo" version. My stepmother who at 90 is getting tired of cooking often picks up cooked wings from the big chain market. Sold as a hot food take-away. She uses her little air fryer to re-crisp.  I decline830315297_wingralphs2.thumb.JPG.101a497150b1775b9e871f65e7c04dc7.JPG tasting.

wing ralphs 1.JPG

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10 minutes ago, Duvel said:

COVER_Intermission_2.jpg
 

Wow - I am very impressed and even more happy with all the submissions we’ve had already in this Cook-Off. I know for certain that quite some members working behind the scenes on “their” wings, so we will be seeing more exciting versions in the upcoming weeks 🥳 …

 

One thing that I found very interesting is that so far we haven’t had any “classic” hot wings (if that label exists) and no discussion on the topic of hot sauces / butter / you name it that goes on these. Maybe that’s just my personal curiosity and for you it’s more of a standard item (or am I being biased here) ? After all, how many food items have spawned an entire talkshow, running now for 17 seasons:

 

 

(other than Gordon’s wimpy performance here, check out Padma’s take on it or the episode with Will Ferrell)

 

So - how do you prepare & serve your classic hot wings ?

 

Years ago, I made a highfalutin version of "Buffalo wings"...  I did the modernist cuisine 24 hour SV treatment and then deboning.  When ready to serve, I seared both sides on a cast iron plate - the skin, with no coating, got really crispy.  It was then served with a hot sauce that was roughly 1/2 and 1/2 Crystal Louisiana hot sauce (I think much better than Tabasco) and butter, simmered together with a bunch of chopped onion, plus a blue cheese foam...

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20 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Years ago, I made a highfalutin version of "Buffalo wings"...  I did the modernist cuisine 24 hour SV treatment and then deboning.  When ready to serve, I seared both sides on a cast iron plate - the skin, with no coating, got really crispy.  It was then served with a hot sauce that was roughly 1/2 and 1/2 Crystal Louisiana hot sauce (I think much better than Tabasco) and butter, simmered together with a bunch of chopped onion, plus a blue cheese foam...


I will need to make the deboned chicken wing at least once for this Cook-Off … your version sounds like a perfect opportunity 🤗

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28 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Years ago, I made a highfalutin version of "Buffalo wings"...  I did the modernist cuisine 24 hour SV treatment and then deboning.  When ready to serve, I seared both sides on a cast iron plate - the skin, with no coating, got really crispy.  It was then served with a hot sauce that was roughly 1/2 and 1/2 Crystal Louisiana hot sauce (I think much better than Tabasco) and butter, simmered together with a bunch of chopped onion, plus a blue cheese foam...

I do not find Crystal and Tabasco on the same playing field. Both in my pantry. Yes bit "hi-falutin" esp w/ bleu cheese foam. Many find the combo classic so I will leave more for them ;) 

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19 minutes ago, heidih said:

I do not find Crystal and Tabasco on the same playing field.

Definitely not.  For some reason, I generally dislike Tabasco - I find it has a weird smell to it.  Crystal is fantastic, however - great flavor, not too hot.

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So on my barely nudging into the Cook-Off smoked turkey drumettes - The 2/pack was just under 2 pounds so these are pretty big. I froze one and cut the meat off number 2. I left a good bit on the one which is hefty as it will be the main flavor in my split pea soup tomorrow. Green sludge not a photo hit so I won't bother. Right now I've got the mushrooms, frzn green peas, onion and garlic, spices simmering in rich coconut cream and dashes of soy.  The chopped meat will be added along with pre-cooked large elbow macaroni I had in fridge. Some purchased horseradish cream with lots of minced flat leaf Italian parsley to finish. Just comfort food.

 

On the turkey drumette meat - it is ham-like but firm. None of that squidgy I get from generic grocery store ham. .Good in a cold chicken salad. I'd never have bought it but for the old ones disliking it and offering to me. They were trying to use it as a sub for smoked ham hocks in Sauerkraut. Did not work for them them texture wise.

 

With my kitchen unexpectedly returning to me this Sunday I may have to venture into "real wing" play.  

tdrum.JPG

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6 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Definitely not.  For some reason, I generally dislike Tabasco - I find it has a weird smell to it.  Crystal is fantastic, however - great flavor, not too hot.

 

I understand that Frank’s is the “traditional” hot sauce used. I checked and Frank’s seems to be much milder than - say - Tabasco. Is is desirable to have a milder sauce for this - which then even gets more muted with equal (?) parts butter ? And how does that fit together with the trend to have extra hot stuff drizzled over your wings ?

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20 minutes ago, Duvel said:

 

I understand that Frank’s is the “traditional” hot sauce used. I checked and Frank’s seems to be much milder than - say - Tabasco. Is is desirable to have a milder sauce for this - which then even gets more muted with equal (?) parts butter ? And how does that fit together with the trend to have extra hot stuff drizzled over your wings ?

Well  Franks is traditional. And if it is truly old school invented in that city Franks probably seemed "ooh hot!". I don't have any now to compare to my other inventory. The super hot trend - I don't know. A trend ;)  Out here on the left coast super hot fried chicken is def a trend. Example: https://www.hotvillechicken.com/

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27 minutes ago, Duvel said:

 

I understand that Frank’s is the “traditional” hot sauce used. I checked and Frank’s seems to be much milder than - say - Tabasco. Is is desirable to have a milder sauce for this - which then even gets more muted with equal (?) parts butter ? And how does that fit together with the trend to have extra hot stuff drizzled over your wings ?

I think when it comes to buffalo wings, different people have different tastes - some like them REALLY hot, others not so much.  There are a few restaurants in NYC that specialize in Buffalo wings - they have maybe 5 different sauces to choose from.  Personally, I don't find Tabasco that hot, but it has a particular smell I can't identify that I'm not a fan of - I think it's the vinegar they use, but I'm not sure.  I've never been a huge fan of eye watering, nose running heat - I like to be able to taste the chillis - although some habanero sauces are really tasty even though they can be ridiculously hot.  The traditional buffalo wing is literally drowned in sauce - they're first deep fried - no batter, then tossed in a bowl with the hot sauce to evenly coat.  So you're getting a lot of sauce.  Some people like to dip the wing in bleu cheese dressing or ranch dressing - this helps to cool the burn.  So to me, since there's so much sauce, if the sauce is too hot, it literally becomes painful to eat... no fun.   I don't know if I've ever had Franks sauce - so I don't know much about it.

 

The dish I made was for a dinner party when I was in my Modernist phase...  So there were like 3 deboned wings per person as part of a multicourse tasting.

 

 

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The idea that hotter and hotter is better seems juvenile to me. Frat house stuff.

 

I don't mind heat so long as  there's room for flavor too.

 

 

 

 

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@KennethT Tabasco is unique. I think the oak(?) barrel aging has to do with it. I like it on some things. And the other end of the spectrum you mentioned- hot but nuanced - makes me think of the sauces like Marie Sharps (Belize originally) and this I'd like on a wing. I used to live in a Carib heavy neighborhood so even Albertsons stocked a wide array - good while it lasted.  https://mariesharpsusa.com/

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I really like the flavor of Buffalo wings, but any commercially available wings are too hot for me - even the "mild".  So, I make my own and allow folks to add more hot sauce as needed.  Our house hot sauce is Frank's.  As a day to day sauce, it is both flavorful and hot enough for Mr. Kim and doesn't blow my head off used with a light hand.  When I make "Buffalo" Wings, my sauce ratio is 3/4 cup butter to 1/3 cup Frank's.  I also add 1 T. soy, 2 T. honey, and 1 T. lemon juice.  The wings are given a buttermilk soak, then dredged in a mixture of flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne (just a pinch), and black pepper - then fried.  And a good, homemade bleu cheese dressing is a MUST!

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3 hours ago, Duvel said:

COVER_Intermission_2.jpg
 

Wow - I am very impressed and even more happy with all the submissions we’ve had already in this Cook-Off. I know for certain that quite some members working behind the scenes on “their” wings, so we will be seeing more exciting versions in the upcoming weeks 🥳 …

 

One thing that I found very interesting is that so far we haven’t had any “classic” hot wings (if that label exists) and no discussion on the topic of hot sauces / butter / you name it that goes on these. Maybe that’s just my personal curiosity and for you it’s more of a standard item (or am I being biased here) ? After all, how many food items have spawned an entire talkshow, running now for 17 seasons:

 

 

(other than Gordon’s wimpy performance here, check out Padma’s take on it or the episode with Will Ferrell)

 

So - how do you prepare & serve your classic hot wings ?

 

 

Fun effing video

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Here’s how I do traditional hot wings. 
 

I get in the car and drive to D’Bo’s in southeast Memphis. I walk in and order “regular hot,” sauce on the side. I then go to Pete and Sam’s, the Italian restaurant that makes the best blue cheese dressing on the planet, and pick up a pint of that. I come home and cut up about three large carrots into sticks. I recrisp the wings in the CSO, drizzle with sauce, and settle down with all that and a Yuengling to watch football.

 

D’Bo’s has three heat levels: regular hot, extra hot and suicide. Suicide is the stuff of fraternity hazings.

 

FWIW, the Georgia Dome serves a mean chili garlic wing in its suites.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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Can you spot the ringers in this lineup?  

IMG_20220121_184800847.thumb.jpg.f4ca39982dc4064fe4d16896d0ef973d.jpgIMG_20220121_184636712_HDR.thumb.jpg.eb1f07bbd81b5c3692d892bbfbdfde67.jpg

 

Re-purposed smoked then fried wings and trademarked (pending) Franken Flats and Thunder Drums.  After seeing the prices for wings in different regions of the country I thought maybe faux wings at a lower price point could be an alternative (tongue firmly in cheek). This cookoff has definitely given me a new appreciation for braised and stewed wings but hasn't moved the needle so to speak for fried.   Great to mediocre fried wings are readily available but otherwise wings as a dining choice are non existent. 

 

As for the ringers a little fun with food.  The flat is a thigh minus the big muscle and the drumette is a drum stick with the bone sectioned or cartilage removed.  The boneless was stuffed with pork sausage.  The Franken Flat was absolutely the star of tonight's supper.

IMG_20220121_185805309_HDR.thumb.jpg.d84b35f43b98aa36c3210dbe772fa197.jpg

 

 

Here's a few photos in the evolution of the FT and TD's

IMG_20220120_142926415.thumb.jpg.eee8afc5111c3231fbe88c1c13d5cd63.jpg775361160_IMG_20220120_144655336(1).thumb.jpg.97577e3ac9b6f3bd00be99056d1dea28.jpgIMG_20220120_143227496.thumb.jpg.a8d22a3853a22b131ad4b8711525e7d8.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.0d01f61fc85435adf4b55ac99df616f5.jpgIMG_20220120_154455469.thumb.jpg.d898e440f8fc8d438b29de52a5ae497e.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.fc9bbf55ef976d76d691ad143e6b8dad.jpg291627261_IMG_20220118_094856999_HDR(1).thumb.jpg.d02740f26df7a6267cc27aa57ea2b132.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20220120_142926415.jpg

IMG_20220120_143227496.jpg

Edited by Steve Irby (log)
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19 minutes ago, Steve Irby said:

Can you spot the ringers in this lineup?  

IMG_20220121_184800847.thumb.jpg.f4ca39982dc4064fe4d16896d0ef973d.jpgIMG_20220121_184636712_HDR.thumb.jpg.eb1f07bbd81b5c3692d892bbfbdfde67.jpg

 

Re-purposed smoked then fried wings and trademarked (pending) Franken Flats and Thunder Drums.  After seeing the prices for wings in different regions of the country I thought maybe faux wings at a lower price point could be an alternative (tongue firmly in cheek). This cookoff has definitely given me a new appreciation for braised and stewed wings but hasn't moved the needle so to speak for fried.   Great to mediocre fried wings are readily available but otherwise wings as a dining choice are non existent. 

 

As for the ringers a little fun with food.  The flat is a thigh minus the big muscle and the drumette is a drum stick with the bone sectioned or cartilage removed.  The boneless was stuffed with pork sausage.  The Franken Flat was absolutely the star of tonight's supper.

IMG_20220121_185805309_HDR.thumb.jpg.d84b35f43b98aa36c3210dbe772fa197.jpg

 

 

Here's a few photos in the evolution of the FT and TD's

IMG_20220120_142926415.thumb.jpg.eee8afc5111c3231fbe88c1c13d5cd63.jpg775361160_IMG_20220120_144655336(1).thumb.jpg.97577e3ac9b6f3bd00be99056d1dea28.jpgIMG_20220120_143227496.thumb.jpg.a8d22a3853a22b131ad4b8711525e7d8.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.0d01f61fc85435adf4b55ac99df616f5.jpgIMG_20220120_154455469.thumb.jpg.d898e440f8fc8d438b29de52a5ae497e.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.fc9bbf55ef976d76d691ad143e6b8dad.jpg291627261_IMG_20220118_094856999_HDR(1).thumb.jpg.d02740f26df7a6267cc27aa57ea2b132.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20220120_143227496.jpg

IMG_20220120_142926415.jpg

 

I was going to say the ranch is not Momofuku.

 

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8 hours ago, Steve Irby said:

Can you spot the ringers in this lineup?  

IMG_20220121_184800847.thumb.jpg.f4ca39982dc4064fe4d16896d0ef973d.jpgIMG_20220121_184636712_HDR.thumb.jpg.eb1f07bbd81b5c3692d892bbfbdfde67.jpg

 

Re-purposed smoked then fried wings and trademarked (pending) Franken Flats and Thunder Drums.  After seeing the prices for wings in different regions of the country I thought maybe faux wings at a lower price point could be an alternative (tongue firmly in cheek). This cookoff has definitely given me a new appreciation for braised and stewed wings but hasn't moved the needle so to speak for fried.   Great to mediocre fried wings are readily available but otherwise wings as a dining choice are non existent. 

 

As for the ringers a little fun with food.  The flat is a thigh minus the big muscle and the drumette is a drum stick with the bone sectioned or cartilage removed.  The boneless was stuffed with pork sausage.  The Franken Flat was absolutely the star of tonight's supper.

IMG_20220121_185805309_HDR.thumb.jpg.d84b35f43b98aa36c3210dbe772fa197.jpg

 

 

Here's a few photos in the evolution of the FT and TD's

IMG_20220120_142926415.thumb.jpg.eee8afc5111c3231fbe88c1c13d5cd63.jpg775361160_IMG_20220120_144655336(1).thumb.jpg.97577e3ac9b6f3bd00be99056d1dea28.jpgIMG_20220120_143227496.thumb.jpg.a8d22a3853a22b131ad4b8711525e7d8.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.0d01f61fc85435adf4b55ac99df616f5.jpgIMG_20220120_154455469.thumb.jpg.d898e440f8fc8d438b29de52a5ae497e.jpgIMG_20220120_152512095.thumb.jpg.fc9bbf55ef976d76d691ad143e6b8dad.jpg291627261_IMG_20220118_094856999_HDR(1).thumb.jpg.d02740f26df7a6267cc27aa57ea2b132.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20220120_143227496.jpg

IMG_20220120_142926415.jpg

Wow!!!!

 

You have a lot more skill and patience than I do.

 

 

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Had to get out yesterday and run some errands.  Dropped in to the Asian Market.  It was PACKED with people.  While there were a lot of shortages, their meat section was full.

 

These landed in my cart.

 

thumbnail_IMG_1819.jpg.ea18ba90fc4c0c71232c9c2c39aa9ae8.jpg

 

thumbnail_IMG_1820.jpg.0d633c6cba501224a6ff143e973c0c25.jpg

 

We will see what trouble I can get into.

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Had to get out yesterday and run some errands.  Dropped in to the Asian Market.  It was PACKED with people.  While there were a lot of shortages, their meat section was full.

 

These landed in my cart.

 

thumbnail_IMG_1819.jpg.ea18ba90fc4c0c71232c9c2c39aa9ae8.jpg

 

thumbnail_IMG_1820.jpg.0d633c6cba501224a6ff143e973c0c25.jpg

 

We will see what trouble I can get into.


image.png.94c68f2823eb5501aaf02f23ce8ed8b2.png
 

@Shelby, way to go - looking very much forward !!!

Edited by Duvel (log)
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After @Steve Irby's post I'm almost embarrassed to show this...but today I went for the Peruvian flavors (minus the Asian influence) mentioned in @Duvel's post here. As it happens I *do* have Aji Amarillo paste, and pretty much all the other ingredients listed in this Serious Eats recipe he used as his basis. I learned some things, most of them good. 

 

As the SE recipe notes, the dipping sauce itself is a real keeper. I spent some fun time in the kitchen chopping the jalapenos, cilantro, and garlic, then measuring out the other ingredients and mixing them in the food processor. The resultant color was actually somewhere between these two photos - isn't it funny how light messes with the color balance?

 

20220122_210843.jpg

 

After I had that mess cleaned up I proceeded with mixing the rub and coating the last of the frozen "party wings" I'd purchased for this Cook-Off. I should explain that these wing sections come individually frozen and ice-glazed. The package says they can be thawed first or cooked from frozen. Last time I essentially precooked them in oil, then marinated, then dredged and fried. They were very crisp, very good, and a lot of work. This time I wanted to bake them from their frozen state.

 

This rub:

 20220122_183602.jpg

 

went onto the frozen wing sections, which were then baked at 400F for about an hour, turning once and trying to re-coat them in the rub that kept falling off the damp surface. This is how they came out of the oven:

 

20220122_194350.jpg

 

That hard crust on the parchment paper is the rub that didn't stay on the wings as they cooked. As it turns out, that was a good thing, because the rub was much, much, much too salty. I think I mismeasured. The other spices (cumin, garlic, paprika, etc.) were good to the degree we could taste them, but the salt overwhelmed everything else. My mistake, I think. (To be honest, I think I used tablespoons rather than teaspoons for the salt! :blush:)

 

Now, for the critique: The wings were wonderfully tender, and that dipping sauce is as excellent as the recipe implies. I'm glad we have a lot of that sauce to put over other things! I think the wings were as tender cooked this way as they had been from the previous method, with a lot less work. However, the skin was really quite soft. If I had wanted a crackling skin, could I have gotten it using this cook-from-frozen method?

 

20220122_194901.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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9 hours ago, Smithy said:

This time I wanted to bake them from their frozen state.

 

This rub:

 20220122_183602.jpg

 

went onto the frozen wing sections, which were then baked at 400F for about an hour, turning once and trying to re-coat them in the rub that kept falling off the damp surface. This is how they came out of the oven:

 

20220122_194350.jpg


I would suspect two issues here:

 

1) When you coat the frozen wings, that - per description - are ice-glaced you are not really coating the wing, but the thin film of ice covering it. This will melt first, when the wings hit the oven and thus effectively washing most, if not all of your marinate off. That would also explain the dried out „puddle“ in the second picture.

 

2) If then at a later point you try to coat the partially cooked wings the marinade meets the wing while the fat is rendering out, so the surface of the wing will be hydrophobic as can be, and the water-based marinade won‘t have it easy to adhere, either.

 

From a conceptual point of view I believe that vinegar-based marinades need a bit of time to do their work denaturing the skin, so it can crisp up nicely later. So, it might not work so well as a quick or even in situ solution.

 

However, I think it should be possible to bake from frozen. Maybe the best would be to start at a slightly lower temperature, thus gently cooking the wing first, and then giving it a blast at the end. If you could use an oil-based marinate or a „sprinkle on“ dry rub in the later cooking stage, it should do the trick. Here I feel that just the method and the material were incompatible …

 

(and as a side note: fully agree that that green sauce is really magical) 

Edited by Duvel (log)
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