Monday, February 7, 2011

Hot Wing Face Off and The Meal Plan 2/7- 2/13

Football season has been busier than usual in our household. As a result, I didn't follow either of the teams competing in tonight's Super Bowl on their journey to XLV. So, for a little added excitement, since I didn't particularly care about the outcome of the game (and because I'm a bit of a food geek), I decided to stage a competition of my own during the game. I carried out the "Hot Wing Face Off" as I watched the Super Bowl from my kitchen. The contenders: Oven Baked Wings vs. Traditional Fried Wings.

We're big fans of  traditional hot wings, fried to a crisp and tossed with hot sauce. But last week, I came across THIS recipe for Unbelievable Baked Buffalo Wings on Would they really be "Unbelievable"? Better than the fried version, even? I had to find out.

Wings were already on the menu for our Super Bowl snacks, so I set just 6 wings aside to make the Unbelievable Baked Wings.

Here's how it went:

All wings started out the same, separated into flats and mini drummies with my kitchen shears (for a tutorial on how to do this, see HERE) and rinsed.

Put the wings in a pot with water (to cover) and red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil and then cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Transfer the wings to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

The recipe instructed: "Bake wings on "Broil" (high) for 15 minutes on each side.(For crispier wings, cook longer on each side, maybe 20 minutes per side)."

20 minutes per side!? This much broiling for itty bitty chicken wings seemed excessive to me, but I just shrugged and followed the instructions, but not before moving my oven rack further away from the broiler so the wings would not be so close to the intensity of the heat. About 10 minutes into the broiling time, I smelled something burning. Uh-oh. Luckily, I was able to salvage the wings...barely. No worries about them being crisp enough. I did turn them over and broil for another 2 minutes on the other side just to insure even crispness before removing them from the oven.

To finish, I tossed the wings in my go-to classic wing sauce: equal parts of butter (melted) and Frank's Red Hot. So simple, but it always turns out perfectly.

*For 1 dozen wings, I used 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of Red Hot.

Now for the fried wings: I just dropped the wings into the basket in my fryer (pre-heated to 350 degrees).

Send them for an 8-10 minute dip in the hot tub.

Then remove the perfectly crispy wings. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with a little salt, and toss with sauce.

*To sauce, I like to put the wings in a plastic container filled with sauce, top with a lid, and shake the container until the wings are coated.

The verdict:

Side by side on the serving plate you can't tell the difference between baked and fried. Despite the fact that the baked wings were boiled with spices, there was no discernible difference in taste, either. But the texture...well, here's where the fried wings had the edge. Both preparation methods yielded a crispy outside, but the meat of the baked wings was a bit chewier-slightly rubbery, even. Not so much that it was repulsive, but enough that I definitely preferred the fried wings to the baked. And so, THE WINNER: the fried wings! That said, if you're really trying to cut fried food out of your diet...and you've got a hankerin' for hot wings, the Unbelievable Baked Buffalo Wings would be a good substitute. But me, I'd skip lunch just to splurge on the fried wings!


And now, for a meal plan!

Monday February 7th

Stewed Garlicky Sausage and Peppers

Tuesday February 8th

Duck Fajitas

Wednesday February 9th

Zippy Chicken Soup

Thursday February 10th


Friday February 11th

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Saturday February 12th

Saturday night appetizer: Spinach in Onion Shells

Sunday February 13th

Brunch: Croque-Madame Casserole

Grocery List

3 large onions
1 large "flat" sweet onion
1 red onion
3 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
jalapeno pepper

1-3/4 lbs. sweet or hot Italian sausage
4- 6 oz. boneless, skinless duck breast filets
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
6 oz. turkey or chicken Italian sausage
8 oz. deli ham

sour cream
shredded Mexican blend cheese
8 oz. mozzarella
Parmesan cheese
cream cheese
7 eggs
6 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese

Dry Goods
red pepper flakes
12- 6 in. flour tortillas
chili powder
cayenne pepper
tortilla chips
1 package active dry yeast
crushed rosemary
garlic salt
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
10 slices white bread

Canned Goods
olive oil
vegetable oil
tomato paste
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
dry white wine
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
28 oz. can whole tomatoes

2 cups whole kernel corn
10 oz. package chopped spinach

PRINT IT! For a printable copy of this meal plan AND grocery list click HERE!


theUngourmet said...

It's so great that the baked turned out just as yummy as the fried! I am crazy for wings but they have to be crispy. I tried making them at home once but wasn't happy with the results. I'll have to try your recipe. ;) Have a wonderful week!

Leah Beyer said...

Everything is better fried! Which have you ever fried in duck butter, aka duck fat? All the chefs I know are constantly telling me it is the best thing to fry in for flavor.

Priyanka said...

Yummy looking :)

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Hey I'm with ya on the classic fried wings and I think with a deep fryer to really save a lot of fat since it cooks so fast & doesn't absorb a lot of oil.

The OP had to have meant to broil these on the very bottom rack, but even if I tried to put something under my broiler for that long - even on the bottom rack - there would probably be a fire! I've also never boiled wings first, but I guess that's to boil off some of the fat?? Interesting. I made a new wing for Super Bowl too. I'll probably tweak it further as I remake it, but they were yummy & The Cajun loved them!!

Ty'sMommy said...

Yep, I'd have to go with you on the fried wings. I've dried baked/broiled wings before and had similar results.

La Bella Cooks said...

Sometimes you just have to splurge and go for the fried. Now I am craving some wings!

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