Learning Kitchen: Crack Wings (Baked!)

The comfort food bug has bitten us, now that nights are cooler and work is ramping up, and all we want is to dive face-first into super yummy goodness. But we’re still adhering to the rules of our new eating habits: no food with preservatives, no store-bought bread, as much as possible is to be homemade. So when Magneto had a craving for wings, I knew it was time to try something I’d heard about years ago but had never actually tested.

The usual baked wings recipe starts with marinating or brining wings, or seasoning them at least, then covering them in some kind of breading – whether a light coating of cornstarch, or a Shake n Bake type of thing, or corn flakes – then baking them for 40 minutes or so and hoping none of the coating comes off when you toss them in sauce.

What a pain.

This time, I parboiled the wings for 7 minutes in salted boiling water. Then I took them out, dried them with a paper towel on the rack, and baked them – totally naked – in a 450F oven for 25 minutes. The parboiling renders out much of the fat under the skin, so that when you bake at a high temp, the skin immediately starts to get crunchy instead of languishing in thick fat. Kind of like rendering out the fat to get crispy duck breast.

Now, I’m not one to stick to someone else’s recipe, and I didn’t want anything resembling buffalo sauce, so instead I tossed them in a sauce of 3 tbsp. melted butter mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. of agave syrup, then tossed them again in 1/4 cup chopped garlic, 1 cup bourbon bellavitano cheese, and 2 tbsp. scallions. The cheese smells like parmesan, grates like cheddar, and tastes like a combination of the two mixed with the subtle, sweet smokiness of bourbon. Basically, magic.

I made an ad hoc ranch sauce out of sour cream and a bunch of different herbs and spices. Really, it’s just a matter of adding things and tasting constantly until you get the flavor you’re looking for. So easy.

These wings were WAY higher in calorie count than any other dinner I’ve made since we started our healthy journey, but considering that all the fat came from whole ingredients and the calories came from healthy sources, I’m totally okay with 800 calories for 10 wings, celery, and some homemade ranch.

The combination of flavors and textures make these wings impossible to stop eating. So much so, that now we’re calling them Kimmie’s Crack Wings, and they’re definitely the best addiction I’ve ever had.

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