A local butcher put out a request on Facebook (yep, he uses Social Media) to gather interest in a special on chicken wings. Who would be interested in wings at the low price of $1.99 a kilo? OK, I’m in. I’m in for four kilos, knowing that I had space in my freezer. When buying them I ran into my friend The Food Marshall, who guess what was buying them too! Nothing like a good special. Glad I ran into her to, as she mentioned that she does her wings the ‘Alton’ way. Alton Brown that is. Steam first > then dry off > bake in the oven > then coat in sauce. And that’s exactly what I did, and they turned out sooooo good. So good in fact that next time I have friends around, I’m doing wings.
So, chicken wings = purchased. Now onto making an awesome ranch dressing. It all starts with dried buttermilk powder. You can buy this in Australia at health food stores, look for the Lotus brand one. My recipe is ratio based, so you can make as little, or as much as you like.
Start with equal amounts of dried dill, dried chives, dried oregano, onion powder and garlic powder. Two parts dried parsley, a sprinkle of both salt and pepper, and four parts buttermilk powder. Mix this together. When you are ready to make a batch of ranch, add two heaped tablespoons of the mix to one cup of Greek yoghurt, and half a cup of sour cream. Thin out by adding a little milk.
Next, the sauce. I didn’t want a hot sauce (what Alton's recipe calls for), but something sweet and flavoursome. So this was an easy throw-it-together mix using the remnants of a jar of honey (about 1cm or so), three teaspoons of Dijon mustard, and squirt of minced garlic. This mix was quite thin, but worked well coating the chicken.
The wings I purchased were whole wings, and are made up of three pieces, the drumette, the wingette, and the tip. Remove the tip by cutting downward into the V join with the wing part. Save these tips for making stock later. Here is a photo courtesy of The Kitchn showing the anatomy of a chicken wing.
Next, place a steamer basket into a saucepan filled with an inch of simmering water. I placed eight wings into the steamer and cooked for ten minutes. Repeat until all wings are steamed. When done, lay them out onto a metal baking tray, pat them dry to remove as much moisture as you can, then place into the fridge for twenty minutes. This helps to dry them out further and tighten the skin.
Now you want to separate the drumette from the wingette at the joint. Next, place each piece onto a fresh tray, and bake in a 200 degrees fan forced oven for twenty minutes. Turn each of the pieces over, then cook for a further twenty minutes. They will come out a glorious colour, and will be crunchy to the touch, score! I tossed a few in a bowl with some of the honey mustard sauce. You will want to do this while they are hot so the flavours are absorbed. I kept some wings plain.
Serve with sticks of carrot and celery (for added crunch and colour), and the ranch dressing for dipping.