I’ve never been one much for chicken wings. I don’t hang out at pubs and gnawing around all those bones have always seemed like too much work for little pay off. Plus, they are not that cheap for the amount of meat that you get. I remember when I was a kid growing up–before chicken wings became a trend–they were the junk part of the chicken, scraps you could buy for the change in your pocket.
I’ve changed my tune and there is a story behind this.
In the summertime, my partner and I went up to Whistler, BC to celebrate a milestone birthday. I had made a reservation at a swanky restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake. He was cool with it, but after a bit of conversation and a couple of glasses of wine, it became clear that what he really wanted to do was watch wrestling.
So we ended up getting the last available table at a crowded sports bar that had pay-per-view, sitting side by side, sharing a Caesar salad and a platter of chicken wings. We chose buffalo wings, which I had tried before, and salt and pepper wings, which I had not.
Let me tell you, those salt and pepper chicken wings were a revelation. Initially, they’d sounded too plain, which is not my thing. But the great thing about seasoning food with nothing but salt and pepper is that the true flavour of the food shines through. And there are few things in life better than really crispy chicken skin.
I’m embarrassed to post a recipe for something as simple as salt and pepper chicken wings because there is not much to it. Basically you need a teaspoon each of kosher salt and pepper for every six full wings. Cut them at the joint if you prefer, and sprinkle each side liberally. Place on a non-stick cookie sheet. You don’t need any oil because the chicken wings have enough fat and the oil will prevent them from getting really crispy. Stick them in an oven preheated to 400F and bake for a full hour, until they are crispy and fully cooked. I add my own twist–a healthy squeeze of lime, which adds a fresh, bright flavour and is a great counterpoint to the saltiness of the wings.