As you may know, I don't eat a lot of meat. I'm usually not a fan of eating anything with a face. However there are a few exceptions to my disgust at eating animal flesh. Bacon, for one. I mean, bacon isn't really considered meat anyway, right? Another of my carnivorous weaknesses is hot dogs. And aren't they kind of the worst animal bi-product one could ever eat? Hooves and snouts ground up and piped into a casing? Nasty! But a dog grilled until charred nestled in a steamed bun is fabulous. And let's not forget chicken wings. Crispy, saucy deep-fried wings are amazing. But heating 87 gallons of hot oil sucks ass.
I prefer to grill my wings. You still get the crunchy skin and a bit of smokiness. Not to mention that much of the fat drips off the little suckers so I'm certain they're totally healthy. At least that's how I justify eating my weight in grilled wings. I love this recipe for Spicy Grilled Wings. It is indeed spicy, so back off some of the ingredients if you're not into it. Pair it with a creamy and tangy blue cheese dip and you've got fire and ice nirvana.
The blue cheese dip can be made a couple of days ahead of time if you want. And for any leftovers, it makes a killer salad dressing. By the way, the other night we ate those spicy wings like cavemen and totally spaced the blue cheese dressing. That's how good they are.
Be sure to brine the chicken. It's easy to overcook and dry out the small wings on the grill so brining insures they are moist and flavorful even if you are enjoying sipping your beer and forget about the wings.
Spicy Grilled Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
Makes about 3 dozen wings and 1-1/2 c. dip
Spicy Grilled Wings:
4 lb. chicken wings (wing tip section removed)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salt
4 quarts water
1 c. Louisiana hot sauce
12 oz. cola
1 T. soy sauce
1/4-1/2 t. cayenne pepper
To brine the chicken, use either a very large bowl or (as I did) 2 gallon Ziploc bags. In each bag, carefully pour 2 quarts of cold water. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup salt to each bag and stir to dissolve. Add chicken, seal well, and set aside for 30-60 minutes. Now would be a good time to make the blue cheese dip if you haven't already.
Meanwhile, mix hot sauce, cola, soy sauce, cayenne, and pepper. Divide in half or so. You'll use one part to baste chicken and another to sauce after grilling, if desired.
Heat grill until hot. Scrape down grates.
After 30-60 minutes of brining, drain, rinse and pat dry wings.
Using tongs, dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and oil grates. Grill wings over medium heat, turning and basting frequently with reserved sauce. The wings will take 10-20 minutes to grill, depending on how big and meaty they are. Drizzle reserved sauce over wings, if desired.
Blue Cheese Dip:
4 oz. Roquefort or other good blue cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1/2 t. kosher salt
pepper, to taste
Divide cheese in half. No need to be perfect here - it all ends up in the same place. Put mayo, cream, vinegar, salt, pepper, and half the cheese in a mini-food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Crumble remaining cheese into dip and mix well.