Dijon-glazed chicken wings

wings1

I’ve never been a fan of wings. They’re usually too greasy and often drenched in a less-than-stellar barbecue sauce. Fatty, soggy chicken skin is something I usually remove, so wings just seemed like too much work and mess for the tiny bite of meat.

I was shown the light by our friend Jeff, owner of the local bar/restaurant The Wheelhouse. They host great bands on their big deck all summer and have a menu special from the outdoor grill. The kickoff concert is always the Spring Wing Ding Thing. Jeff bakes his wings, then finishes them on the grill. His honey-mustard wings are to die for: spicy, crisp, moist but not greasy.

Once the cold weather kicked in, I started experimenting with wings at home. Several recipes called for added fat in the form of butter or oil. Not only was this unnecessary, it resulted in greasy wings. Nix the fat. Next, I reduced the honey quite a bit. We liked the heat and tang of the mustard to shine; anything more than a touch of honey reduced the “wow!” flavor kick to “meh.” And in a complete turnaround from how I usually cook (more is more!), I eliminated all extra ingredients except wings, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.

Notes: 1. Cooking the wings on a rack allows the fat to drip onto the sheet pan underneath, keeping the skin crisp. Make sure there is a little space between each wing so air can circulate.
2. Trim the bony wing tips off and roast them too, then toss them in a bag in your freezer. They are a great addition to stock.
3. Season well with salt and pepper, and don’t apply the glaze until the wings are cooked and browned. The skin stays crisp, and the honey doesn’t burn.

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Dijon-Glazed Chicken Wings
makes 12-18 wings, depending on size

5 lbs. bone-in chicken wings
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey (or to taste)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack on a large sheet pan. With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, remove the wing tips and set aside. Place the wings on the rack skin side up, spaced evenly. Scatter the wing tips between the wings. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and roast for 20 minutes longer.
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and honey. Add a few grinds of pepper and stir again. Set aside.
Flip the wings to skin-side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove the wing tips and set aside to cool (Those will be used for stock.) Flip the wings to skin-side up and brush with a thin layer of the mustard glaze. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned. Flip again, brush with glaze, and roast for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip one last time, brush with remaining glaze, and roast for 5 minutes longer. Serve hot or warm.
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About Rivertree kitchen

I am a freelance editor with a specialty in cookbook editing. I've written two small cookbooks (50 Best Sundaes and 50 Best Cookies) and am currently finishing a collection of my own recipes from soup (Sweet Potato-Pear) to nuts (Spicy Almonds). Despite my immersion in recipes, my favorite way to cook is to see what's in the fridge and wing it. I live with my husband, son and dog in rural Wisconsin. Husband (Tom) and son (Luke) are talented cooks themselves; the dogs (Cleo and Libby) not so much. But they're young yet. All the photographs in this blog are my own creations. I'm a neophyte in the world of food photography (as if you couldn't tell), but I still claim blushing ownership of the pix you see here. If you want to reprint them (I can't imagine why), please give credit, if for no other reason than to pass on the blame.
This entry was posted in appetizers, main courses, meat, poultry,and fish. Bookmark the permalink.

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