On Fridays, Joshua Bousel drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua!
My hat goes off to whoever first paired pizza and wings. I don't know if it's just the fact that I've enjoyed the two together my whole life, but a hit of spicy buffalo sauce, followed by a bite of smooth mozzarella, is one of the great pleasures in the unhealthy diet I maintain. So, when I grilled up some pizzas last week, it went without saying that buffalo wings would be served alongside. But instead of busting out the fryer, I took them to the flames.
With a previous success in getting a great, crisp skin on grilled wings, I thought this would be a snap. Unfortunately, my fire may have been too hot and I started getting burnt, rather than crackling, skins--so I adopted a two-zone method to get them finished in an edible state. Although the skins did not get that super crispness that I prefer, the wings were a hit all around. They were juicy and had a pleasingly complex buffalo sauce, achieved by mixing multiple sugars and hot sauces together with butter. It was the perfect accompaniment to some grilled pizzas.
- 3 pounds chicken wings (18 wings), cut up
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the Sauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
Mix together the cayenne, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture all over the chicken wings. Place the wing in the refrigerator until ready to use. (This can be done the night before.)
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the rest of the sauce ingredients until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Place the wings over the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook until skins are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Move the wings to the hot side of the grill and continue to cook until the skins have crisped, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the wings to a bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat evenly. Remove wings to a plate and serve hot.