Somewhere out there, a professional team is playing some kind of organized sport. I don’t care if it’s football, polo, or badminton, that’s all the excuse I need to grill up a batch of wings.
In this recipe I did a couple of things to make sure the wings stay nice and crisp. First, I added cornstarch to the rub both to help distribute the spices and to dry up any moisture on the skin. Second, I let the wings sit uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours. This might sound a little unsanitary, but it’s safe and it helps to pull even more moisture out of the wings.
6 pounds chicken wings
1 cup wing sauce (I used Suck Creek’s Medium Wing Sauce)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Combine all the spices (everything but the wings and the sauce) in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
Put the wings in a large bowl and dust with about a third of the rub. Toss the wings. Add another third of the rub and toss again. Repeat with the remaining rub, making sure that all of the wings are covered with the rub.
Set a cooling rack on a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. Lay wings out on a rack and let them sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours.
Set your grill up for a direct cook at 350°F. I use an extender of the Big Green Egg to move the grate up little further from the flames.
Arrange the wings in a single layer on the grate. Grill the wings for 20 minutes, flip and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the wings are golden brown. Mop the wings with the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Flip, mop and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat one or two more times until the wings are crisp and coated in sauce.
Remove the wings to a plate and drizzle with any remaining sauce. Serve hot from the grill with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.
I ended up running short on time, so the wings didn’t get to sit in the fridge as long as they should have. They were still pretty crisp, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. The flavor was layered and wonderfully complex, with the wing sauce adding just enough tang and heat. I might bump up the garlic and black pepper in the rub and try these without sauce next time just for a change of pace. Also, I am done buying wings that are already cut up. The drummies and flats end up being much smaller than if I cut them up myself.