Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings

Blimp shot
Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings and Stilton Potato Skins with Maple-Bourbon Craft Bacon

The name is long, so you know it is good.

Memorial Day weekend seemed like as good a time as any to test out some recipes for tailgate season. I found some good-looking wings at the local butcher. Mariah and I trimmed them with a boning knife and some sheers (discarding the useless tips) and I put them in 5% brine with a couple cloves are thinly sliced garlic, some sweet paprika and a few sprigs of rosemary.

I let that go overnight removed and rinsed it thoroughly before I pat dried and applied my dry rub.

My rub was typical for my treatment of chicken:

Sweet Paprika
Brown Sugar
Onion Powder
Chipotle Powder
White Pepper
Celery Seed
Herbs De Provence

Ambient temperature was over 90 degrees, so I dumped about 15 unlit coals in the pan and lit a half-full chimney. I filled the water pan and got the temperature to a nice and easy 225. I got the hickory rolling and gave the wings 4 hours on the smoke.

After 4 hours on 225 (and lower), the internal temp varied from wing to wing between 135 and 150. I pulled the wings and placed into an insulated container.
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I lightly basted the wings with some Olive Oil and cooked at 350 until the internal temp reached 170.

In the meantime, I washed and dried 6 russet potatoes. Once they were dry, I tossed them in olive oil and liberally sprinkled them with kosher salt. I put them into the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees for 1 hour (until the potatoes give a little if you apply pressure).

Allow the potatoes to cool until they can be handled. Cut them in half and scoop out the meat leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on top of the skins.

Sum bitch...
Raise the oven temp to 450. While the oven is preheating, coat the potato skins with a vegetable oil (high smoke point). Cook for ten minutes, then flip for another ten. Remove and lower the temp to 400.

Then the magic happens. I sprinkled with crumbled Stilton cheese and some diced Maple-Bourbon craft bacon.

I put it back in the oven until the cheese started to brown (about 4 minutes on the middle rack).

Then you basically get this:

Feed me, Seymore!
I added a dollop of Greek Yogurt and some diced green onions from Mariah's freaky Frankenstein green onion reboot.

Mariah put together her amazing Bouron-Coriander BBBQ sauce (the extra B is for BYOBB). I'll ask Mariah for a post on that in the future. It is a warm, tangy and spicy citrus flavor. Top drawer.

Beware tailgate brat-bringers, burger-bakers. There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Hickory. These wings were pink from smoke, but the mild hickory was a perfect flavor to match the rub. The brine kept the meat moist and the low and slow method kept them tender but not fatty. Mariah said the meat was like pork, but not as rich- that sounds like a nice compliment.

The skins were tremendous. The bacon was transcendent as expected and the Stilton added a nice salty funk to the crispy, starchy skins. The greek yogurt is perfect as an accent- I will never use sour cream again. It is more viscous and not as rich, but with a more pronounced sour taste. Perfect. And I only use zombie green onions grown in shot glasses. That is how it is done. :)

Hail to the Victors Valiant!

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