Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tyler Florence's Salt and Pepper Wings

I have made a lot of iterations of grilled chicken wings, some more complex than others.  I was flipping through Tyler Florence's book, Family Meal, the other day and came across a very straightforward recipe for Salt and Pepper Wings.  They were simply wings seasoned with salt and pepper, baked in an oven, and served with a homemade Humboldt Fog bleu cheese dressing and chile oil.  

I liked the back to basics approach so I gave it a shot. 

hot wings, grilled wings, blue cheese,
Wings and Beer - America's Pub Food.

The recipe called for baking the wings but you know that isn't allowed at my house.  Instead I set up one of our Big Green Eggs for indirect cooking.  On a kamado grill like the BGE, there are a couple of ways to do indirect heat.  One way is to use a Spider rig with a 13" pizza stone like below.

indirect kamado set up
To keep it clean, I would also top the pizza stone with a foil covered deep dish pizza pan to catch the drippings.  See the picture below for an example.

Another common method for indirect cooking on a kamado grill is using a plate setter like below.  By the way, when did Big Green Egg change the name of the plate setter to "ConvEGGtor" ?  I noticed that in the last BGE Lifestyle magazine.  It will always be a "plate setter" to me.

ConvEGGtor indirect set up

While the Egg was preheating to 400°F, I cut up a few pounds of wings into wingettes.  The recipe calls for seasoning with salt and pepper (no quantities given).  I liked the idea of a simple rub but I thought it would be good to add some garlic powder and onion powder to that.  Then I thought that my NMT Beef Rub is essentially that plus some ground dried bell pepper and herbs, so I used that to season the wings on both sides.

chicken wings, hot wings

The wings went onto the grill to cook for 45 minutes.

While they cooked, I made the chile oil which was just about a cup of good olive oil, 2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chile powder, and 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder all heated together for a few minutes and whisked.

Next I made the simple bleu cheese dressing.  I whisked together about 3/4 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, a few splashes of lemon juice (actually I was out of lemon juice so I improvised and used Margarita mix, hilarious, right?), some chives, salt, and pepper.  Then I stirred in a "heavy half cup" of crumbled blue cheese, tasted it for seasoning, and set it aside.

The chile oil was supposed to just be a condiment but I couldn't help but use it as a cooking element too.  After the wings had been on for a while, I tossed the wings in some of the chile oil...

And put them back on to finish cooking.

Total cooking time ended up being about 50 minutes at 400°F.  We garnished the wings with the celery leaves and drizzled more chile oil but I skipped the sliced radish garnish the book recommended.  

These wings were good, flavorful wings without any real kick of hotness at all.  These would be the perfect grilled wing for the "heat intolerant" folks although I like mine to have some punch.  If you're like me, you'd want to add some more heat to the rub and chile oil.

I need to cook a few more things from this book, Tyler Florence Family Meal: Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better.  I've had it a year or two and the things I have cooked from it are good, especially the chile relleno rice casserole. The chicken, avocado, and bacon salad recipe sounds to die for too. It's just that I don't cook from other people's recipes that often and I have so many cookbooks that I just can't get to all of the recipes that I want to try.

Foodies - if we couldn't die until our "try this recipe soon" list was worked through, we'd live longer than Methuselah and Count Dracula.

[Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.  I won my copy of Family Meal in a giveaway contest a few years ago.