Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bittman's Broiled Chicken Wings

Plans to move items out of the freezer meant I could use three pounds of wings as part of a batch of stock or I could cook up a batch of wings. Considering how wings go for a premium it seemed a waste to just cook the flavors out of them. Rather than agonize over finding the "perfect" wing recipe, I looked to one of the books on my shelf. Conveniently, the tarragon leftover from the chicken tart recipe was still looking good.

Broiled Chicken Wings
adapted from Bittman's How to Cook Everything, 1998 edition
click to print

3 lbs drumettes and flatwings, rinsed and patted dry
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon (or chervil or basil leaves)

Place a broiler rack and pan 4-6 inches from heat source and preheat.
Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and some salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add wings and toss to coat.

Place the pieces on the rack and cook 4-5 minutes or until the first side begins to brown.
This took 8 minutes for me.

Flip the pieces and broil until the second side begins to brown, about 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and tarragon.

Brush the wings lightly with the olive oil mixture.

Continue to cook, turning once or twice more, until nicely browned all over, about 10 minutes total.

Give a final brush and serve.

These turned out a little on the dry side even though total cooking time was about what Bittman's recipe counted on. Initial wing browning took a few minutes longer than expected but once the wings were brushed with the oil mixture the final cooking time was cut down by 5-10 minutes. I'd keep a close eye on them if you use closer to two pounds of drumettes and flatwings, which I recommended -- unless you increase the volume of oil, lemon juice and tarragon.

The oil mixture quantity was not enough for my three pounds of wing pieces; the first pass with the brush left hardly any mixture for the final brushing. And that means the flavors were a little on the light side, not what I'd call an explosion by any means yet still good. Since the wings were broiled, the skin was fantastically crisp and not at all rubbery or chewy. That was a certain win for me.

Would I do these again? Certainly. And I'll cut the chicken quantity and cooking time down by 1/3.

  • wings: $2.37
  • olive oil: $0.08
  • lemon: $0.31
  • tarragon: $0.65
Total: $3.41 or $0.85 for each of four servings.