Football season is here, which means more importantly, hot wing season is here! Hot wings are one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures. Juicy chicken with crispy, crunchy deep-fried skin, covered in spicy, buttery sauce — hot wings are everything I could want in a hand-held guilty-pleasure treat. That got me thinking, though, what if I could have delicious, delicious chicken wings, but not feel so guilty?
As it turns out, it’s totally possible. Removing the skin and making your own super-easy sauce, gives you much more control over the fat and calories, and my unique cooking method will still give you a bit of crisp to the wing, without adding any extra ingredients. Fair warning, though: these guys are a little labor-intensive. Just think of that as an extension of how “skinny” they are! If you can find skinless chicken wings at your butcher, then these little things will be a breeze to make; I’ve heard skinless wings are common in Europe. Here in the US, however, our wings tend to come skin-on, and with the drummette still attached to the flat, which means there’s a little elbow grease required in prepping the wings.
If you aren’t a fan of Valentina, you can absolutely substitute it for your favorite hot sauce. If you just can’t find it where you live, it’s available on Amazon here: Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce. You should know that it’s only about $2 if you can find it in a store instead of on the internet though, where you’ll pay a premium for the shipping and packaging.
- 8 Whole Chicken Wings ( roughly 2 lbs )
- 1 cup Valentina
- 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pan. While you're waiting for the water to boil, using a very sharp knife or kitchen shears ( hint hint use the shears if you have them -- makes it a lot easier! ), remove the "tips" of the wings and discard them, and then separate the drummies from the flats by cutting directly through the joint.
- Add the newly separated chicken wings to the boiling water, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Drain the wings, and let rest until cool enough to handle.
- Remove the skin from the wings. Expect this step to take at least 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how surly your wings are feeling that day.
- Pat the skinless wings dry.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all of the wings, mix half of the melted butter with half of the Valentina ( 1 tablespoon of melted butter, ½ cup of Valentina ), and toss the wings in that sauce. Discard any remaining sauce.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper ( or foil ), and set a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
- Arrange the wings on the rack, and spray them with cooking spray.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Flip all of the wings, and bake for another 3 minutes, then turn your oven to "Broil" ( high, if that option is available).
- Broil for 4 minutes, then remove the wings from the oven.
- Mix up a second batch of sauce in a clean bowl, by mixing the rest of the Valentina ( ½ cup ) with the rest of the melted butter ( 1 Tablespoon ).
- Toss the cooked wings in the second batch of sauce, and serve!