Sometimes I think I live under a rock. I mean where was I when all my friends in college were headed to ten cent wing night? Where was I when platters of 100’s of buffalo wings were ordered for every football Sunday of the season? Where was I?!?!
Late to the party I tell you! Late to the party!
But I’m making up for it now. I love chicken wings and the million different ways you can spice them up, dress them up, dress them down. And I love having them at home. Messy and sticky; sauce running down your arms and smeared across your face. I’ve always felt that when eating them out, the need to stay clean and dainty took something away from the experience. No one should feel the need to be clean and dainty with a pile of wings. It’s just not right.
So I make them at home on a somewhat regular basis, and with a different sauce nearly every time. I’m really excited about the wings I am sharing with you today. They have zing and tang and even a little pizzazz. They have spice but not too much. There’s just enough heat to feel it linger without that unbearable burn. Even more than the spice though, these wings have flavor. Wow do they have flavor. I’m really tempted to make another batch like right now.
Of course there is one other question right? To dip or not to dip? I think for many having a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing is a must have. I know in the Palace Kitchen wood grilled version that coriander cream makes the dish. Personally, I feel not every wing needs to be dipped. Sometimes the sauce it is tossed in is enough. Is that the case today? Hell no. These zingy, tangy flavor delivery devices are only made better by the slightly herby homemade ranch dip. I made this dip slightly thicker than normal ranch dressing so it was thick enough to grab on when the wing was plunged down into it. If you prefer blue cheese, please, by all means go for it. It too would be great here.
To prep your wings before baking separate them into three pieces. Using your fingers feel to find where the joint comes together. With a sharp knife in one slicing motion cut through the joint. If you are in the middle of the joint and your knife is sharp you shouldn’t have trouble. Discard the tips or save to use for stock. If you buy your wings already separated into drum and wing pieces then just skip right to the recipe. The size of your wings will alter your cooking time so be careful not to overcook. Wings can dry out and no one likes a dry, overcooked wing.
Are you ready? Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get messy. Here they are.
Drunken Chicken Wings
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 c tequila
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 c hot sauce such as Texas Pete or Frank's Red Hot I used Frank's
- 2 Tbsp cilantro coriander divided ~ 1 for the sauce; 1 for garnish
- 2 lbs ~800g chicken wings cleaned and split into drums and winglets (only 1lb pictured)
- salt and pepper
Herb Ranch Dip
- 3 T mayonnaise such as Best Foods or Hellman's
- 3 T light sour cream
- 3 T low fat buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp dried chives
- 1/2 tsp dried cilantro coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
In a small sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.
Saute garlic for a few minutes until softened. Do not let the butter and garlic brown.
Add tequila, lime juice, and cumin taking care when working with alcohol near an open flame. Safest way is to remove the pan from the heat, pour in the alcohol and place the pan back over the flame. Turn heat to medium high and allow to cook for a few minutes reducing liquid by about 1/3.
Add hot sauce and stir to combine.
Add cilantro at the last minute.
Preheat oven to 400*F (200*C)
Spread wings in a single layer on a baking paper lined baking sheet.
Season well with salt and pepper
Bake on the top rack for 10 - 15 minutes per side. Skin should be crispy but meat still juicy.
Brush with a little of the sauce and return to the oven for the last few minutes of baking.
Remove and plate. Add extra sauce over the wings (as pictured) and serve with ranch dip.
Combine all ingredients and return to the refrigerator until needed.