Italian Style Grilled Chicken Wings

Now that football season has officially kicked-off.  I want to share with you one of my favorite chicken wing recipes.  These wings are prepared on a grill; so while maybe not “barbecue”, still a tasty treat to include in your football food repertoire!  They are very easy to prepare and are great for tailgates, and always a crowd favorite, right along side my spicy baby back ribs and baked beans.

Prep time:
prepping the chicken wings and marinade will take about an hour (much less if you buy the wings pre-separated
let the wings sit in the marinade for any where from 30 minutes to 3 hours
cooking time about 40 minutes – this includes pre-heating

What you’ll need:

8 – 10 lbs. Chicken Wings (separated at the joint with the tips removed) about 36 – 45 pieces.  You can buy the wings pre-separated or do it yourself – it’s very easy. One HUGE point here – DON’T FORGET TO WASH YOUR WINGS! Rinse them well in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 corse ground “butchers” black pepper
1 cup dried rosemary (rosemary is probably the only herb that is more potent in its dried state)
2-3 medium heads of garlic – coarsely chopped
1 cup olive oil – no need to use OVOO since this is going on the grill but please do not use vegetable, canola or corn oil – you want the rich flavor of a good olive oil.

Divide your chicken wings evenly in two large (I use the Hefty 2 gal.) ziplock bags.  Pour a half cup of olive oil into each bag along with 1/4 cup of salt, 1/8 cup of pepper and 1/2 cup of rosemary.  Evenly divide your garlic between the two containers as well.  Seal each bag (making sure to leave plenty of air in the bag – this makes the next step easier).  Vigorously shake each bag until your chicken wings are evenly coated with your marinade.  Then open each bag up slightly and push out all the air you can.  Flatten each of the containers and place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes if you are preparing these last-minute, otherwise I recommend preparing these 2-3 hours in advance.

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About 40 minutes before you are planning to plate your wings, go spark up your grill.  I use my Weber gas grill for most of my grilling – while you lose the added layer of wood flavor, these wings really don’t need it.  And it takes less time to pre-heat.

Always start with a clean grill, I clean my grill cold with a grill pumice stone, you can pick them up at any hardware store that sells grill supplies or on Amazon or e-Bay.  Just make sure that you remove all the residue before you put any of your meat on the grill.

I like to super heat my grill to about 500 – 600 degrees, this takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the outside temperature.

Once your grill is at the desired temperature, evenly distribute your wings on the cooking area and reduce the heat to between 1/2 to 1/4 – you want to get your cooking temperature to around 300 – 350.  Keep an eye on your wings and turn often until both side are golden brown with a slight char.

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Then just plate them up and watch them disappear!

Personal notes:

To brine or not to brine?  I have brined my wings for this recipe in the past but really did not see any marked difference in tenderness, succulence, or size.  So I will leave it up to you whether you want to do so or not.  If you do choose to brine your wings, do so over night and use a simple brine of just salt; you don’t want to take away from the garlic and Rosemary flavors of this dish.

Buon Appetito!

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The Don

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