Superbowl Sunday Piri Piri Wings

February 1, 2015

Wing
Okay, I'll admit it.  I was at Whole Foods the other day, and marinated chicken wings- in about a dozen different permutations  - were on sale.  I bought their version of Spicy Korean Chicken Wings and brought them home.  Put them in the oven, took them out. And threw them right into the garbage.

They were dreadful.

So now I felt compelled to make my own. 

This is my version of the classic buffalo wings. Roasted instead of fried – less hassle – and spiced with a more intense sauce.

I apologize for the picture.  It's terrible. The wings are not. They are utterly messy, and everything you want in a game-day wing: the sauce, slightly sweet and fiery as hell, gives way to crispy skin. 

They're great for the game, but they’d make an equally fine a snack for a movie night.

Baked Piri Piri Wings (Buffalo style)

3 pounds chicken wings, separated at the joint

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

1/2 stick butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup piri piri sauce, preferably Mazi brand

Whisk the baking soda, salt and egg whites together in a large bowl. Add the wings, and coat. Shaking off excess egg white as you go, lay wings on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. (I needed two.) This coating helps the skin get crispy and caramel-colored.

Let wings dry in the fridge, uncovered, skin-side up, for at least an hour. (Longer is better; overnight is great.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Move wings, still on the racks, directly to the oven. Cook for fifteen minutes, turn over, and cook for another ten. Turn them back to skin-side up and cook for a final ten minutes. The wings should be a nice light brown.

While the wings are cooking, make your sauce. Melt the butter with the sugar in a small saucepan. Turn off the flame. Add the piri piri sauce and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit.

When the wings are done cooking, let them sit for at least five minutes. Then toss, madly, with the sauce. Serve immediately, with celery stalks – and blue cheese if you're so inclined. (An homage to the Anchor Bar.) 

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