March Madness is in full swing! I have this odd dissonance with March Madness. I generally dislike and know nothing about basketball, but I really enjoy March Madness. I like the… madness of it. (Case in point: UMBC. WHAT.) Not that I actually watch the games. I just watch the last two minutes of the close ones and cheer for the random team I picked. We have a tradition that we always fill out brackets and hang them on the wall; it’s a friendly competition we’ve enjoyed ever since we got married. This year, our three year old even got in on the action. I have high hopes for his bracket. I suspect he picked Bucknell to win it all because part of it sounds pretty close to “butt” which is high on his list of Forbidden Words.
The first night games really got going, my husband requested wings for dinner. Honey barbecue wings are our official Sports Food. My husband loves sports, football in particular, and we have wings for dinner most Saturday nights during football season. It’s what helps our team win, I’m sure (Roll Tide).
Anyway, the beginning of March Madness felt like an appropriate time to have wings as well, so we did. And as I was cooking, I thought about how amazing these wings are… and I knew I should blog about them. I’ve cobbled this recipe together through a large variety of internet sources and finally pinned it down to the best method. It’s so simple and so beautiful… and so delicious.
The wings are baked, so they aren’t even bad for you. They’re baked, and yet incredible crispy and crunchy and just. so. perfect. They’re tossed in a sticky and fabulous sauce made out of three ingredients that I guarantee you have in your kitchen. See? So simple. And so amazing.
Here we go.
First, you’re going to prepare your wings. If pictures of raw meat gross you out, scroll past this quickly. (I apologize for these two pictures being a bit blurry… I was trying to take them while fending off a curious two-year-old that puts everything in her mouth.)
Lay your wing out flat on a cutting board.
Using a very sharp knife, cut in the two spots the wings bend. They should be nice, clean cuts that aren’t too difficult; if you’re meeting a lot of resistance, change your angle a bit or move your knife around until you find the joint. It shouldn’t be too hard. You’ll end up with three pieces.
Discard the wing tips and spread the rest out on your cutting board. Using paper towel, blot them all as dry as you can… for maximum crispiness, flip them over and blot again. You want to remove as much moisture as possible.
Throw them all into a big bowl and add baking powder and salt. These work together in the oven to crisp the skin up; you’re going to bake them slowly at first to render the fat out and this, combined with the baking powder, will give you delicious, crunchy wings. Toss it all together until the wings are well-coated.
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, then place a baking rack on top of that. Spray the rack really well with cooking spray and line the wings up on it. It’s okay if they’re nice and snug; they’ll shrink as they cook.
Bake them at 250° for 30 minutes, then crank up the heat to 425° and bake for another 50 minutes.
While they’re baking, you’re going to combine honey, soy sauce, and barbecue sauce in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil… but be careful because it boils over before you know it. Lower the heat and let it simmer until it’s reduced a good amount (I usually start this process when I lower the heat on the oven and it is perfect).
When the wings are baked, dump them along with the sauce into a big bowl and toss them all together. Try not to burn your fingers as you dig in immediately because you won’t be able to help it.
We always eat these with coleslaw and fries – sometimes sweet potato fries. I’m fairly sure that if we didn’t, the world would explode. At the very least, our team would lose. Can’t have that, can we?
We really love dipping our fries in this Copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce from My Montana Kitchen.
Crispy Baked Honey Barbecue Wings
5 lbs whole wings
4 T. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup barbecue sauce (whatever’s your favorite!)
Preheat your oven to 250°.
Prepare your wings by cutting them at the joints; you should end up with three “parts” per wing. Discard the tips and spread the remaining pieces out on a flat surface. Using a paper towel, blot out as much moisture as possible.
In a large bowl, combine the wing pieces, the baking powder, and the salt. Toss until the wings are all well-coated.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then top with a baking rack. Thoroughly spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray, then arrange the wings on it. Bake for 30 minutes, then raise the oven temperature to 425° and bake for 50 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the soy sauce, honey, and barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it’s reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
Toss the baked wings with the sauce. Enjoy!