Hello again my old friends. It's been awhile. I certainly appreciate the niceties and such that I have been receiving during my hiatus. Some family matters, as well as another project and of course the ever expanding Tewksbury Country Club have kept me sooooo busy.
I ran into editor extrordinaire Bill Gilman the other day and well here I am. It actually came at a good time because I have something important to say, " WHAT THE HELL'S GOING ON WITH CHICKEN WINGS!".
Back in the 80's, chicken wings were a byproduct of the huge demand for chicken breasts. As science became more dissecting, the health benefits of this lean protein became immensely popular. Well in order to get a breast you gotta grow the rest of the parts too! Wings where the cheapest part of the chicken and savvy restaurant proprietors found the spicy affordable wings a great way to get their beer sales up. The craze caught on.
Today wings are the most expensive part of the bird. Over 1.23 billion wings will be consumed this week-end. That's right BILLION! In fact last year grocers sold 13.25 billion wings. This year production is down about 1% largely due to the high feed prices caused by this summers historic drought. This explains the 25 cent per pound increase we will be paying over last year.
Chicken wings have become such a valued commodity that $65,000 dollars worth of the football favorites where recently stolen from a Georgia cold storage facility. As of yet they have not been recovered. (That's gonna be a heck of a tailgate party.)
Wings are generally broken down into three parts, the drumette, the flat, and the flapper. The flapper is the little tip at the end and most of these are exported to Asia. My favorite is the drumette. Which got me to thinkin' why not just buy drumsticks. So off to the local grocer I went and this is what I found, side by side no less, the family pack of wings ran about $12.00 but the family size pack of drumsticks cost about $4.00. So this Super Bowl drumsticks it is and here's how I'm going to cook 'em..
First I like to blanch the chicken in a pot of salted water. This renders most of the fat off and reduces the cooking time. Then I let the chicken dry and put a rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of cayene pepper on. Next I toss them in my favorite BBQ sauce and shot of Kentucky Bourbon. The chicken will marinate in the sauce until I'm ready to throw them on the grill. If the weather doesn't permit grilling then broiler setting in your oven works almost as well. Remember the chicken has already been blanched so we're just looking to carmelize the skin and let the chicken heat through. This method works equally as well with wings or thighs for that matter.
Well I guess its been too long because I'm starting to rant. I'll let you get cooking now and be sure to pass on some more helpful hints next time...