Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pluckers - Houston

New Plucker's in Houston opening on Shepherd Drive where MaggieRita's used to be....

Friday, February 15, 2013

Super Bowl Wings

Back to my super bowl wings.  They were very straight forward this year.  I decided to grill them this year on the Hasty-Bake.  They turned out very good.

For the sauce I used Pluckers' Fire in the Hole and also made my own sauce with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and melted butter.

They came out surprisingly crisp.  The Frank's sauce is a classic that I never get bored with.  The FITH sauce was very spicy.  So spicy in fact that for a moment I though my eyes would water.  This particular bottle has been sitting in my pantry for about 10 months.  As peppers have a chance to sit and rest, they release more capsaicin and these oils mix and become more spicy.

Fire in the Hole


This batch of FITH was much spicier than any Plucker's restaurant has made them.  Very good, but burned the soul, it reminded me of the old "En Fuego" sauce they used to have before they changed the name and spiciness (not verified).

Rating: 10/10, because I can do no wrong in the world of the wings.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chicken Wing Primer

Quick print-friendly guide to make some wicked original hot wings for the Super Bowl. Pictures from my creation will be posted when I make them this evening. Preparation is key to the entire process, whether you fry, deep fry, grill, bake or smoke.

  1. Use kitchen shears to cut the wing from the drummette. (cut the nub off from the drummette if so desired) 
  2. Wash wings under cold tap water then pat dry. 
  3. Put wings in a ziploc freezer bag. 
  4. Pour entire bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing in the bag and mix it all up good. 
  5. Let bag sit in the fridge as long as you can afford, mixing it up every hour or so. I just put mine in at 9:30 am and will cook these probably around 8 pm.Overnight is also a good option. 
  6. Take the wings out and drain dressing off 30 minutes prior to cooking. If you want to season the wings, pat them dry and then put a rub on them, however this won't really affect deep fried wings. Whenever I fry or deep fry, I want my wings clean and dry with no rub as it just tends to burn in the hot oil. 
  7. Now it's your choice to fry, deep fry, grill, bake or smoke. Below are a couple of pros vs cons for all the styles in order of my preference.  
    1. Frying Pros: Produces golden crispiness, the perfect wing. Cons: Can be a messy cleanup, and I always burn myself with the hot oil splatter.  Wing sauce really holds onto fried wings.  As Meathead Goldwyn says if you boil ribs before cooking, then the terrorists win.  Same premise with frying wings.  If you batter your wings the terrorists wing.  That is called fried chicken, not chicken wings.  Also, deep frying is submerging the entire wing in hot oil, like a turkey fryer or frying french fries   Regular frying is just putting a small layer of oil in a big pot which doesn't submerge the wings. You need to turn these every couple of minutes.
    2. Grill/Bake: Pros: Grilling and then finishing in the oven create a great wing and crust that sauce holds onto well.  Cons: A lot of moving parts.  You need your oven on, fire in the grill just right.
    3. Bake:  Easy way to make solid wings.  Cons: There is no sport in baking wings and no hangs out around the oven drinking beer while commenting on your baking skill.
    4. Grilling Pros: Can get a good smoke and tenderness. Rubs help alot.  Drinking beer while grilling is always a good deal.  Cons: Usually don't get as crispy. 
Making the sauce and consummating the wing and sauce relationship.

To create the basic wing sauce you need two ingredients   Hot sauce and butter.  The easiest method is just to melt butter, put the melted butter in a mixing bowl, add your hot sauce and mix.  When the wings are done transfer them to the mixing bowl and mix it around and you are done.  The more butter used, the sweeter and thicker the sauce will be, in the buttery sort of way.  Serve with ranch or blue cheese.

I do not recommend using pre-made wing sauce, even Frank's pre-made wing sauce isn't that good.  Make your own sauce, whether with franks, siracha, marie sharp's, ghost pepper etc.  Use a thicker sauce for the wings instead of a viscous, vinegar based sauce like Tobasco.

Frank's is a great base for a sauce so if you want that cayenne pepper taste, but you can elevate it to super hot with habanero sauce or extract.  So Frank's is the roux of the chicken wing sauce world.

To end this article, I must say that BBQ chicken wings, sweet asian wings, garlic wings or all the non-hot flavors of chicken wings really aren't chicken wings.  The most pure wing is the hot wing and nothing else.

That's my quick and dirty guide.  Eat.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Equipment

Just ratcheted up my wing producing capabilities with the Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5" and the Hasty Bake Legacy. Below are pictures. Smoked and grilled wings. Delicious.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Houston - Chicken Wings

I need some Houston chicken wing recommendations. I relocated here because of work in January, and have only seen Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters. Don't get me wrong, depending on the flavor, you can get good wings there, but I can't find any local joints.