It is getting to be the time of year when many people are thinking about a Super Party to go along with the Super Bowl. I realize that in many countries this game has little meaning, but in The United States it is almost a national holiday. I don’t think that there are many people who don’t know of a big get together being planned. At many of these parties you will find several items. They will have chips and salsa, chips and dip, and hot wings along with celery, carrots and Bleu Cheese dressing. Many buy their wings, but some take the time and effort to make their own. I enjoy the home-made wings better than some from a Colonel in Kentucky or a lady in Louisiana. I know of people who go to these parties and could care less about the game, they are there for the food. How about your next party? Do you really want to make things a bit spicier, get away from the regular tasting hot wings that everybody makes the same way? If you do plan on making your own wings for your party, start at least two weeks ahead. The longer you give your self, the better they will come out.
I have posted many blogs that are a mixture of home canning as well as a way to bring you and your family back into cooking together in preparing for your party. Do you want something that will set your hot wings apart from everyone else? Or are you just going to run in the little circles? Something the store-bought wings have trouble raising the heat and not have a drop in flavor. Just adding cayenne powder to make their wings hot really doesn’t help the flavor. People want hot that tastes good, not just hot.
I have noticed that there are a great many “HotHeads“ out there by the number of hits on my blogs about hot spicy foods. The blog with the biggest number of hits is a blog about relishes, mild and spicy. The next most clicked on was about another blog about hot stuff. I notice a trend here. I even gave a name to those people with like taste (HOT), and I call that groupof people “Hot Heads”. I am a founding member of that group. I LOVE hot spicy foods. I enjoy adding a hot flavor to things I eat: adding extra hot sauce to things like chili or even hamburgers and hot dogs. I don’t put it on ice cream, but I am not drawing a line in the sand. Maybe the right hot sauce and just the right ice cream…. hmmmm. I will have to give that more thought. I think the start of a new year is the best time to get things hot around here. It is so cold in so many places. I guess it is time to heat things up. What better way than to write about “Hot Wings“.
I can never think about wing sauce and not remember my oldest grandson, Brandon. He was and maybe still is a hot wing fanatic. He and I are founding members of the “HotHeads”. We both enjoyed making wings and then eating them, and we really liked to cook and eat on the top end of the heat level. We took photos of a session of cooking wings. We placed the photos on a poster in our booth. You would not believe how many people asked about cooking hot wings. The photos I will use in this blog are some of the ones we used in our poster. They may be a little old (like maybe 8 to 10 years), but with wings there is no time limit.
Before I start to make my first recipe I would do some basic things. I bought a box of disposable gloves to wear when I work with hot peppers. Next I would buy a gallon of vinegar (white or cider, depends on your taste) . Next a few packages of peppers (bell, jalapeño, Habanero peppers). I took each pepper and cut them up and chopped in a blender, then added a little vinegar and chopped til I almost had a mush. Place pepper mush in a clean container, then I filled the container with vinegar from another bottle. I worked from mild to hot not the other ways around. For Habanero peppers I took my blender outside. The fumes from chopping the peppers is killer! Be very careful with these peppers, they can cause pain with just the littlest touch. I made sure that I had good lids for my pepper vinegar bottles. Next I placed the bottles in a dark area to age. two or three times a day I shook the bottles. I wanted the best pepper vinegar that I could get. After at least a week (2 would be best) strain your vinegars into a large container, make sure you keep the varieties separate. The peppers left in the strainer put in bowls, you will work with them next. I used the vinegars to make pepper jelly with, so we aren’t throwing away anything. Take all the mush and add to a blender and purée. This is going to be added to our sauce and cooked to give each sauce a different flavor and temperature. Make sure you keep each variety separate.
I like to make sure one of the Peppers I use is Chipolte Peppers. They are dried Jalapeno peppers that have been smoked. The flavor is fantastic, plus the heat is just a little more that a non-dried/smoked jalapeño pepper.
Now we can start on our sauce. I make my basic sauce and then use some of it in all my other sauces. So I make a couple of gallons, you make as much as you want to start with. Next time increase or decrease the volume for more HW sauces.
In a large cooking pot mix the following ingredients: a couple of extra-large bottles of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, or what ever you like to use at home. Avoid using Tabasco sauce because of the salt content, that changes the flavor too much. You will need close to a quart of sauce to start, next add the mild pepper mush and 2 cups pepper vinegar, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 cups sugar (you heard me sugar), 1/4 teaspoon canning salt or kosher or sea. Mix all ingredients (except sugar) stir. Heat to a boil, add sugar, bring back to a full rolling boil. This is a basic sauce for my hot wings. This is the mild sauce. Add hotter pepper mush for hotter wing sauce. I make almost all of my other sauces from this one. If you are going to make more than one flavor, you will need to increase all the above volumes.
The final sauce will have little bits of pepper in it. You can strain to remove but I like the little bits on my wings. They give a little burst of flavor. You can strain or not that is up to you.
The next step is bottling your sauce. You can use canning jars or fancy bottles you may have. It is up to you. If you are going to store your sauce, you will have to process the jars just like you would a jelly or jam. I would recommend you use regular canning jars for your storage. Remember to clean the rims with a damp paper towel before adding on the domes. Finger tighten the rings then process in boiling water bath. Make sure your jars don’t touch the bottom of your boiling water pot. Make sure the water is at least 2 inches over the top. Boil for 10 minutes. Do the same thing with your next pepper and so forth. The processed jars will keep for several months.
To make my garlic wing sauce I use my basic sauce and add crushed garlic and extra garlic powder. I add the garlic to my sauce in a blender. Next blend till the pieces of garlic are tiny. Don’t strain out the pieces. Let age for at least a week in your refrigerator, you will enjoy the flavor more. To make hotter sauce use more of your hotter peppers and less the milder ones. Don’t leave the milder peppers out, they add a good flavor to the sauce. For my teriyaki sauce I don’t use a commercial teriyaki sauce. I make my own and leave out the MSG that companies use. I start with good soy sauce, add rice wine and ground ginger. I simmer then store for at least a week before use.
For honey wings, just use honey in place of sugar. You can add a little more honey than sugar because of the flavor.
Cooking wing is something people disagree about constantly. I will give you my way and let you decide what is best for you. I always make at least three temperatures of hot wings, this gives everyone a chance to choose.
I start with fresh wings not frozen. The taste is better plus I don’t have to thaw to start. I check to make sure all the wings are cut into two parts, the drumstick and the flat. The wing tip is great to feed my dogs after they are boiled. I only use the flats and drums. I lightly salt the wings before cooking. I like to fry my wings, some people bake in the oven. I just like the taste of fried better.
I use Peanut oil to fry with, it takes more heat before smoking. I also like to have at least 2 inches of oil to fry in, so make sure your frying pan will hold this amount with no trouble or worry about spilled hot oil. You can also use a pot to fry in. Or a Fry-Daddy. I fry them till they are crispy and just a little brown. They can burn if you cook too long. I use long tongs to turn my wings. Make sure they cook on booth sides.
I let my wings drain to remove as much grease as possible. I use newspaper to drain my wings, you may like paper towels or something else.
Now it is time for my sauce. I put my sauce in a large bowl and make sure each wing piece is completely soaked. You can eat them this way. But if you like drippless wings. Place wings on an oven broiler rack, in an oven preheated to 250 degrees. This sets my sauce on my wings. I like drippy wings some times, most of the time I like my wings a little less wet.
I watch the racks and when I see the sauce start to bubble I remove my wings. You can serve them now or if you like a bigger taste, put them back into the sauce before you serve.
Now comes the best time of all, it is time to eat. If you can’t wait, like my grandson Brandon, dig in and enjoy. Most like to serve Bleu Cheese dressing or Ranch along with celery strips and carrot strips. It also depends on if you are serving for a party or just watching a game or even for a dinner for family. My grand kids, Brandon, Chris, Kyle and Ashley love to have wings for dinner. They also like some of the hotter flavors of my sauce.
They do like to cool down after eating, here they are eating a nice cool bunch of Popsicles.
The end results for all my work cutting the chicken and making sauce and cooking becomes just a plate full of bones like you see in the photo on the right. I have to say that my photos are a little old. My granddaughter Ashley in the red outfit above is grown and a mother. Brandon is working in a steel mill as a supervisor. Here he is with his girl friend Brittany. They were visiting for a few days between Christmas and New Years. So you can tell it has been a long time since I was able to cook wings with my wife and our grand kids. Brandon’s visit stirred my thought process towards wings.
Cooking and eating in my house is more of an event and not just something you do. I believe that if you enjoy your food and who you eat it with makes a better meal. Who you eat with is more important than what you are eating. What you are eating is made better if it something you made and not something out of a can or jar or thawed and nuked.
Now about the left over pepper vinegar you got from the recipe above. Make Pepper Jelly from each different type of vinegar. If you don’t remember how, I wrote a couple of blogs about it. Go back to the blog and print it out and use that recipe to make different temperature pepper jellies. Just make sure you use a different color for each flavor so people who don’t want hot can have mild or medium. The link is: https://canucanit.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/can-u-can-it-9/ Just follow what I have and you will have an AWESOME start to a truly memorable party table. Don’t forget to take photos. If you want, send me e-mails with photos attached. I would love to see how things turned out.
I know I ran a little long this time, but it is important to make the best foods or snacks possible. I want ever one to have a party that will go down in party history. People will be talking about the foods for a year, till the next Super Bowl. Not just the commercials on TV, but your food.
I have many more recipes for varieties of wing sauce, but no time to give them to you. If you are interested in more let me know and I will e-mail them to you.
It is about that time again, I have run out of space for this edition of CanUCanIt. I would really like to ask for some help in doing my blogs for the next year. I would like to ask for ideas; things you want to read about. Things you might have tasted and would like to make yourself. Maybe even something you remember from growing up that still holds a special place in your heart. Let me know what it is, I will try to come up with the best way I can find to help you with your wants or needs. I will try to help you along, just tell me what you need.
Don’t forget…. let me know what you would like to make or any ideas you have for the next blog. Also if you have any questions you would like me to try to solve. Just drop me a note at email@example.com.
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Say YES I can can it.