I’ve never been a fan of chicken wings. The bottled glowing hot sauce that stains the corners of your mouth and seeps into your fingertips, the thick layer of soggy chicken skin, the mere essence of meat—meh. But since football season is underway, I am expected at the very least to keep my eyes open while the Colts play. To do this, I keep busy by cooking and cracking beers. Lots of beers. Donning an oversize Peyton Manning jersey—more moo-moo than flirty cheerleader outfit—I prepared what was to be my antidote to the standard chicken wing.
Combine the zest and juice of a lime, canola oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and minced fresh ginger in a large bowl. Add whole chicken wings (tips and all, because, well, I like the way it looks) to the bowl and mix with your hands to coat. Marinate the chicken for 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes to ensure even flavor distribution.
Sear the wings on both sides in a pan over high heat to give them a nice dark brown color. Transfer to the oven; cook for 7 minutes at 450-degrees Fahrenheit. Without removing the wings from the oven, reduce the heat to 400-degrees and cook for an additional 8 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce: strain the marinade, bring to a boil, and season with S & P as needed. Pour the sauce over the wings and serve as I did, in a big-ass bowl (more of a bucket, really). Eat them straight from the bucket, and have a roll of paper towels on hand to catch the juices running down your hands. Drink with cheap, crappy beer; the wings are so damn tasty, they’ll make even a PBR taste like a fine microbrew.