The chicken wing is easily the most overdone food in North America. In a landscape littered with fried, dry-rubbed and over-sauced wings, I am a firm believer in the grilled chicken wing. My recipe below is a labor of love, and totally worth the effort.
- Raw chicken wings (drums and flats separated preferred)
- Portuguese Malagueta (pimento paste)
- Sambal Oelek (Indonesian hot sauce)
- Olive oil
- White wine
- Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Ensure the wings are fully thawed
- In a small bowl, whisk the malagueta and sambal oelek at a 2:1 ratio with the olive oil and a few splashes of white wine. Do not shy away from the olive oil!
- In a large bowl, combine the sauce with the wings and massage the sauce into the wings. Massaging is key, as it pushes the sauce into every crevice.
- Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let sit in the fridge over night.
- Pull the bowl out of the fridge an hour before you’re ready to cook.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 and toss the wings into a covered pan with the sauce (Important: You want the sauce to cook with the wings). Cook for 20 minutes, or until noticably firmer. Your house should smell fantastic at this point.
- Pull the wings out and remove them from the sauce. Keep the excess sauce in the pan.
- Toss the semi-cooked wings on the BBQ on med-high heat. You want them to sear, but remember that you will attract flames with the sauce. To keep the flames at bay, I like to keep a crisp lager handy– like Singha, for example. Lightly and occasionally spray the wings with beer, ensuring that you close the lid after each spray. This adds an additional smokiness to the wing. Tip: only use the beer on the seared sides, to prevent washing off any of the surface sauce.
- As with anything on the BBQ, try to limit the number of times you turn the wings. You want to lock in the juiciness from the marinade. Once on each side is ideal, and you want to ensure you get color on each side.
- Pull from BBQ and toss back into a bowl with the excess cooked sauce. Finish with roughly chopped cilantro and serve!
Tip: This recipe also works fantastic with shrimp if you skip the oven and go straight to the grill. Traditional Portuguese cooking calls for shrimp with the heads on. While it might be intimidating, the heads preserve a fantastic amount of flavor and add to the presentation of the dish.
Beer Pairing: Singha or GLB’s Blonde Ale