~ JoePa's Chicken Wings (Deep-Fried to Perfection)~
In our Happy Valley (PSU) household, our 3-year old grandson David calls my husband Joe "JoePa" and calls me (Mel/Melanie) "GrandMel". Sweet!?! JoePa's wings are the best I have ever tasted. The good news for tailgate is: they are even better if you make them the night before the game, which gives them time to marinate in the sauce! Here's what you'll need:
~ Step 1. Seriously, now is the time to think about buying a deep-fryer. This inexpensive appliance is just plain wonderful. If you don't have one, that is ok. You can fry in any large-size 6-8-quart stockpot. Just fill it half way (no more) with corn or peanut oil heated to 360 degrees (you'll need a candy thermometer to control the heat). If you do own a deep-fryer, preheat it according to the manufacturer's directions.
~ Step 2. Using a pair of poultry shears, cut 6 pounds of wings, at their two joints, into 3 sections: the drumette, the wing, and the "skinny" wing tip.
Some folks like to fry and eat the wing tips, I do not, but that is your choice. Without frying the wing tips, this recipe will yield about 4 dozen chicken wings.
~ Step 3. Simply dredge/coat the wings in pancake mix... "yes dear, pancake mix." I've tried all sorts of flour mixtures and pancake mix is the best! You'll need about 2 cups pancake mix to do all of the wings.
~Step 4. Fry the wings, 5-6-8 at a time, or whatever the basket of the deep-fryer will comfortably hold without crowding the fryer basket, about 13 minutes per batch.
Immediately transfer wings to a paper towel lined dish or platter. Immediately and generously salt the wings. I use freshly ground sea salt. Continue this process until all wings are deep-fried and salted. Sauce with: ~ Melanie's Sweet 'n Spicy Wing Sauce ~, found in Categories 1, 2, 8, 17 or 20!
Proper chicken wing etiquette: Wings are user-friendly, requiring no knives or forks. All you need are your fingertips and a large stack of napkins to delight in this very casual culinary experience. Pick them up with your fingers and proceed to nibble, gnaw and chew until all of the meat and sauce have been savored. It is also acceptable to ignore the napkins completely and lick your lips and fingertips to remove the sauce. This is one time the terms "lip-smackin' " and "finger-lickin' " apply in every context!
Chicken wings can be served sauced or unsauced (pictured below), the choice is yours. In either case, they are traditionally served with blue cheese dip or dressing, accompanied by carrot and celery sticks . To get my recipe for ~ Buttermilk Blue Cheese 'n Chive Salad Dressing ~, click into Categories 8 or 10!
JoePa's Chicken Wings (Deep-Fried to Perfection): Recipe yields about 4 dozen chicken wings or 4 dozen appetizers/snacks.
Special Equipment List: deep-fryer (or 6-8-quart stockpot); cutting board; poultry shears; tongs; paper towels; 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish (for finished wings)
Cook's Note: Wings can be prepared and sauced several hours and up to one day in advance of serving. For added flavor and heat, one of my favorite things to do is stir 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons of ground cayenne pepper into the 2-cups of pancake mix... that choice is yours. When I do that, we refer to them as ~ GrandMel's Cinnamon-Chicken Wings ~!!!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)