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Chicken wings have become a standard in sports bars, restaurants, and on back yard grills over the years. This dish, often called flats or drummies, is often associated with being breaded, fried, and tossed in a spicy sauce. You know these as “Buffalo” style hot wings. I’m not going to dive into the debate on where or when Buffalo wings came into existence. I will say this – grilling up some Zesty Barbecue Wings are a fantastic way to get your wing fix! For this dish, you can go with whole fryer wings or cut flats and drummies. In case you did not know, here’s how the sections break down.
Are Wings Different?
Well, a chicken wing is a chicken wing. But, for the purpose of menu writing and culinary trivia around the grill… chicken wings can be different! The whole wing, which is often referred to as being the fryer – it’s a three-piece section. Now, cut the little chicken wing tip-off and toss it or use it for a chicken stock ingredient. This leaves two parts. When separated, you have the flat – which is the piece with two bones. And you have drum – which is, of course, the mini drumstick. The reason why this is important is that you may get hit with an up-charge if you try to order all flats or all drums at some restaurants. These terms are probably only useful at home if you’re trying to impress fellow charcoal lovers during a grilling session. You can always toss this tidbit of random knowledge out.
According to the National Chicken Council, which is a leading industry trade association, hungry NFL football fans ate an estimated 1.25 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl XLVIII. Methods of cooking included the fried Buffalo versions as well as grilled, smoked, baked, and any other way of charcoal grilling. That’s enough chicken to put over 500 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums!
Perfect for Grilling
One reason chicken has become so popular when it comes to frying, smoking, and grilling is that it’s generally more affordable than popular cuts of beef or pork. Chicken – as well as other types of poultry – is versatile, easy to cook, and can be used in just about any ethnic cuisine. This version is geared towards quick and easy preparation so you can start the charcoal and start grilling as soon as possible.
As always with my recipes, consider them as starting points for making your own dishes. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to your own liking. Who knows, you may create something that stays in your family for years! This method is not limited to wings: try it on chicken leg quarters, thighs, breasts, and even whole grilled fryers.
Quick and Easy Grilled Zesty Wings
The number of wings depends on your appetite and guest list! You can double the ingredients as needed.
· 12 to 24 wings and drums
· 3/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
· 3/4 cup your favorite Barbecue sauce
· 1 tablespoon orange juice
· 1-2 tablespoons green pepper, minced
· 1-2 tablespoons onion, minced
· Dashes of Parsley flakes
· Dashes of Red Pepper
Place the chicken in a large bowl and mix all the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Drizzle the mixture over the chicken while tossing gently to evenly coat. Cover and chill until the charcoal are glowing and ready to start grilling. When the grill is at medium-high heat, place the pieces evenly on the grill grate and close the lid. You can put the chicken on the indirect heat side to thoroughly cooked and then move over direct heat to crisp up if desired. Grill until the juices run clear and serve hot!
Grab some frozen wing sections, thaw, grill ’em and baste several times with a mixture of Italian dressing and barbecue sauce. Toss in a splash of hot sauce or orange juice if you have some on hand. Sprinkle lightly with Italian seasoning before serving while they are still hot and sticky!