We’ve documented our love of Buffalo Wings in the past, not only as a unique bit of Americana but also as inspiration for our Chicken Burger. Playing around with approaches over the Fourth of July holiday recently lead to a brined, grilled variation we fell in love with. Thought we’d share.
Boneless and Skinless Chicken “Wings”
Brine: 2 cups water, bring to a rapid boil, then reduce to simmer. Add 1/2 cup sea salt, 4 bay leaves, 4 cloves garlic (smashed, skin on), 8 whole peppercorns, 1 whole dried ancho chile (seeds removed). Remove from heat and add 2 cups of ice. Resulting brine should now be near room temperature and taste like sea water (adjust salt or water accordingly).
Prepare the Chicken: This can be made with traditional wings, which are the wing assembly taken apart at the joints, but we prefer to make these with boneless, skinless thighs, cut into three long strips. Place the 2 lbs prepared chicken into the brine and allow to marinate overnight.
Next day, prepare a grill and heat to 400 degrees. Remove chicken thighs from brine and dry with paper towel. In a large sealable plastic bag, place 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic salt. Add chicken and shake to coat. Place chicken on grill and cook about 10 minutes per side, until golden brown. Now if you want to get fancy, throws these on a hot smoker at about 350 degrees over applewood chips for a bit longer.
Remove chicken and place into oven proof pan. At this stage you can refrigerate until ready for use.
Traditional Sauce: 8 Tbs. of butter (one stick), melted then whisk to combine with 1/2 cup hot sauce
Barbecue Sauce: 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup malt vinegar, 1 Tbs. smoked paprika, 1 Tbs. ancho chile powder, 1 Tbs. cracked black pepper, combine and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Coat “wings” in sauce of choice in an oven-proof pan, and reheat at 350 degrees for 20 minutes then serve.