Saturday, November 10, 2018

Chicken Scratch and Whitebird Sauce Wings

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This is not a sponsored post.

College basketball season is underway and we fire roasted these wings for last night's Carolina-Elon game.

I was craving these after having some made by Trace Scarborough, owner/operator of Thunderbird, just 2 weekends ago at the Scenic City Eggfest near Chattanooga.  They were the best thing I ate all day.

Trace slow smokes his wings with a healthy dose of pecan wood.  I was in a hurry, so I cooked mine hot and fast.  It's all good, I like cooking wings in several different ways.

  • Low and slow - Cooked indirect at 275°f for about 2 hours, the advantage is that you can put a heavier dose of smoke on the wings.  The potential disadvantage is that smoked wings can end up with rubbery skin.  You can always turn the heat up at the end to crisp the skin.
  • Fire roasted - Cooked indirect at 375°f using the 30-20-10 method.  That's 30 minutes, flip. Then 20 minutes, apply sauce. Then 10 minutes to cook on the sauce.  This method gives a crispy skin and a mild smoke flavor.
  • Smoke fried - These wings enjoy the best of both worlds - slow smoking for flavor and flash fried for that crisp skin. I'll cook the wings to an internal temperature of 165°f and then flash-fry them at 350°f for about a minute.
  • Direct grilled - If I am really pressed for time, I'll grill the wings directly over a 350°f fire, flipping the wings every 7-8 minutes. But I'll use a raised cooking grate to help even out any hot spots and it is a little more forgiving if you are slow to flip your wings while grilling.  This usually takes about 30 minutes.
  • Deep fried - I know it is heresy to some folks, but I like a deep-fried, breaded wing with a standard Buffalo sauce.  
So for these wings, I seasoned them heavily with Thunderbird Chicken Scratch.  Normally I would let them air-dry in the fridge for an hour.  This dries out the surface which helps ensure crispy skin. It also takes an hour and like I said....I was hungry, so I skipped it this time.

Then I preheated a large Big Green Egg to 375°f and dropped in an Adjustable Rig with a spider rig and pizza stone.  I could have also gone with a plate setter (aka Conveggtor) and regular grill grate.  Then I roasted the wings for the 30-20-10 process.  Let's talk sauce for a minute.

You can buy Thunderbird Whitebird and the other great Thunderbird offerings at grill dealers or you can order online.

Thunderbird Whitebird Sauce is an Alabama white BBQ sauce.  Alabama white sauce was made famous by Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama.  It is mayonnaise based which freaks a lot of people out but don't knock it until you have tried it.  It is sweet and tangy, I love it for chicken.  

Most people apply the Alabama white sauce only at the end.  I like to give a light coat to the food and let it cook on for 10 minutes. I find that people who don't want to try the white sauce LOVE the wings cooked this way, not knowing it has the sauce cooked onto it.  Then I drizzle fresh Whitebird Sauce on them after the wings come off of the kamado grill.  

These were fantastic and hit the spot.  I would put Thunderbird Whitebird Sauce up there with our favorite recipes (Big Bob Gibson's book) and/or our favorite commercial versions (Lane's Sorta White, Norris Dam Good).