This recipe for smoked chicken wings is sure to become a crowd-pleasing favorite at any gathering or simply as a delightful indulgence for yourself.
Crank your smoker up to 375°F. This is hotter than the usual 225°F, low and slow, but the heat helps render the fat an crisp the chicken skin. To further plump up the wings I call for flavors like sesame oil and sriracha, and use fresh jalapeño peppers to heat up the butter sauce. Napkins and cold beer required!
Serves: 24 wings, enough for 4 – 6 when served with other food.
Method: Hot Smoking
Marinating Time: 15 – 60 mins
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Smoking Time: 30 minutes – 2 hours (depending on smoker temperature)
Fuel: Hardwood of your choice (I like Alder or Cherry). Enough for 50 minutes (or 2 hours, if smoking at a lower temperature)
3 lbs Chicken Wings (about 24 pieces)
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons coarse salt (sea or kosher)
2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
2 teaspoons ground coriander (optional)
2 tablespoons Asian Sesame Oil
Vegetable oil for oiling the rack
6 Tablespoons butter
4 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced crosswise (leave the seeds in)
6 Tablespoons sriracha (or other favorite hot sauce)
¼ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
Place the chicken wings in a large bowl. Sprinkle in ¼ cup of the cilantro, the salt, pepper and the coriander, if using, and stir to mix. Stir in the sesame oil. Cover the bowl and marinate, refrigerated, for 15 to 60 minutes (the longer the marinate, the richer the flavor).
Meanwhile, set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 375 degrees F. (If your smoker is incapable of reaching that temperature, preheat as hot as the smoker will go) Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.
Oil the smoker rack and and arrange the drumettes on it. Smoke the wings until sizzling, brown with smoke, and cooked through, 30 – 50 minutes. At lower temperatures (for example 25 degrees F) you’ll need 11/2 – 2 hrs. In some smokers, the pieces closest to the fire will cook faster; if this is case, rotate the pieces so all cook evenly. To check for doneness, make a tiny cut in the thickest part of a few of the wings. The meat at the bone should be white, with no traces of red. Do not overcook. Arrange the wings on the heatproof platter.
Just before serving, melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet on the stove over high heat. Add the jalapeños and cook until they sizzle and start to brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the sriracha and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with the peanuts and the remaining ¼ cup cilantro and serve at one with plenty of napkins.
Notes: Once you master the process – meat, plus spice, plus smoke, plus butter plus hot sauce – you can “buffalo”anything; shrimp, sweetbreads, or even pigs’ ears or tails.
For Mexican-style hot wings, substitute cumin for the coriander and Cholula hot sauce for sriracha. The possibilities are endless
In conclusion, these smoked chicken wings will undoubtedly leave you craving more with their perfect balance of smoky, juicy goodness. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply treating yourself, these wings are a guaranteed hit. So fire up that smoker and savor the delectable delight of these smoked chicken wings. Your taste buds will thank you!
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