Monday, January 17, 2011

Spicy Hot Chicken Wings, with a Sweet and Smoky Glaze

It's that time again- time for playoff football.  My beloved Patriots suffered a very sad defeat last yesterday, but football continues until a final team is crowned Super Bowl champs.  Now football of course means a great game, long time rivalries, true competition, and some serious snacking! 

One of my favorite game time snacks is buffalo wings.  I love the spicy and tangy sauce resting on the crispy fried chicken, all cooled off with rich and creamy blue cheese dressing.  They are a perfect combination of flavors, and so much fun to eat since you really have to use your hands for them.  They are sort of primal in their own right I suppose.  I decided to make my own version to snack on for the game yesterday, full of spice and sweetness. 

I started by making a dry rub for the chicken wings to instill a lot spice into the meat.  Rubs are great because you can really customize them to your needs.  I wanted these to be really spicy so I started with about 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper.  I added to that smoked paprika, chili pepper, ground dried herbs, salt and my secret ingredient- cinnamon.  I love adding cinnamon to spice, I feel as though it really rounds out the other flavors, and adds great depth. Now, 2 tbsps of cayenne sounds like a lot.  It is a lot- I burned my tongue (several times) as I taste tested it- but that was the affect I was going for.  That's the beauty of the rub-try it out see how the flavors meld- if they taste good dry- they will impart great flavor into your meat.  Once the dry rub was complete, I rubbed it into the chicken and let the sit for a few hours.  When it was time to cook them up for kick off, I melted about three tbsps of butter, tossed the chicken in it, and then laid them out on a cookie sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. 

While they baked, I put together a nice glaze, because what would a wing be if not saucy and messy?  I combined honey, 4 tbsps or so, with the liquid from small can of chipotle peppers in adoboe sauce, a tsp of cinnamon and a tsp of tomato vinegar.  I whisked them together and when the wings were fully cooked, I tossed them into it. 

The final step was make a creamy sauce to pair with the spicy and sweet wings.  In a small bowl I combined 1/4 cup of sour cream, two tbsps of chopped chipotle peppers and two tbsps of chopped chives, and a pinch of salt. 

The result?  Smoky sweet wings, spicy enough to make your nose run and your eyes water, with a delightfully cool dipping sauce to dull out the heat. Honestly these little doozies were a great way to mask some tears of disappointment when the Pats lost last night.  And they nicely satisfied my craving for a delicious and hot treat. I see these getting made a lot- wings go with basketball and baseball too right?

1 comment:

kitchenmisfit said...

The Pats game was SO incredibly disappointing. But at least you got to nom on delicious wings!

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