By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
Wings are probably the least-meaty part of a chicken and were always the last thing to be consumed – save for the neck – when mom fixed that fried or roasted chicken back on the Sundays of our youth. Nowadays, people have realized that wings can be a savory, sweet or hot finger food that can become almost addictive.
Since 1964 when Teressa Bellissimo (Anchor Bar) made the first Buffalo wings, these bits of poultry have jumped from the least-desirable parts of chicken at the grocery store to an expensive item ranking second only to boneless chicken breasts in price.
Here is an alternative to Buffalo wings that has your favorite barbecue flavor that can be served hot or cold at your tailgate.
Crispy, oven-baked barbecue wings
3 lbs. chicken wings
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups your favorite barbecue sauce
The night before: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash wings and clip off their tips. Cut wings at the joint into two parts each. Put wings on paper towel to dry. Season the chicken wings on both sides with salt and pepper. Set wings in a single layer in a large roasting or baking pan. Use two pans if necessary. Bake the chicken wings, turning once, until browned, about 45 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven. Pour off all the fat from the pan. If necessary, blot the wings with paper towel and return the wings to the pan. Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken wings and return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the wings over and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove the wings from the baking pan, and allow them to cool. Place them into a seal and serve plastic container and refrigerate them overnight.
On game day: Place the wing container into your cooler for transport to the game. At the tailgate place the wings onto your grill to heat them. Or serve them cold. Either way is acceptable.
Serving tips: Serve with sweet coleslaw and corn chips or stuffed potato skins.