Grilled Chicken Wings
From Cook's Country
To get crisp, well-rendered chicken wings, we tossed the wings in cornstarch (and spices) and grilled them over a gentle medium-low heat. We began grilling with the thicker skin side facing up so that the fat could slowly render, and then we flipped the wings at the end of cooking to crisp the skin. Also, though we normally cook white chicken meat to 160 degrees, wings are chock-full of collagen, which begins to break down upwards of 170 degrees. Cooking the wings to 180 degrees produced meltingly tender wings that we couldn’t stop eating.
Makes 2 dozen wings
If you buy whole wings, cut them into 2 pieces before brining. Don’t brine the wings for more than 30 minutes or they’ll be too salty.
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 pounds chicken wings, wingtips discarded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Prick chicken wings all over with fork. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- 2. Combine cornstarch and pepper in bowl. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rinse and dry bowl. Transfer wings to now-empty bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch mixture, tossing until evenly coated.
- 3A. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter half filled with charcoal briquettes (3 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
- 3B. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-low. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature around 350 degrees.)
- 4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Grill wings (covered if using gas), thicker skin side up, until browned on bottom, 12 to 15 minutes. Flip chicken and grill until skin is crisp and lightly charred and meat registers 180 degrees, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.
Prepping Grilled Chicken Wings
Use a fork to puncture each wing all over. This lets the brine easily penetrate and gives the rendered fat an escape route.
A quick saltwater brine seasons the wings and keeps them juicy, even when cooked to the 180 degrees called for in this recipe.
Right before grilling, dust the wings with a mixture of cornstarch (to prevent sticking) and black pepper.