There are few things in life that are more delicious and satisfying than wings.
You know the kind: spicy enough to get your nose running, messy enough to make people look at you twice to figure out whether you have a full-blown beard or if that’s just sauce all over your face (yes, it’s sauce all over your face – regardless of beard status).
For this recipe, use your favourite kind of beer and hot sauce, but be considerate of how the flavours will work together. Beer-wise, your best bet is to opt for an amber or brown ale if you’re using classic hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot or similar types), or a stout or porter if you’re going to be using a hot sauce with a smokier flavour.
Beer-Brined Chicken Wings
Serves 1 really hungry person or 4 people with reasonable appetites
2 pounds(ish) chicken wings
2 tablespoons of salt (sea or kosher, not table salt)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup hot sauce
½ teaspoon ground pepper
In a small bowl, whisk beer, salt, and brown sugar until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Transfer the wings to a large zip-lock bag, and pour the beer brine over top. Squish out excess air, seal, and smush the wings around to get ‘em good and familiar with the brine. Place the bag on a plate, and refrigerate for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium-high, and give it a good scrub. Once it’s all hot and clean, reduce heat to medium, and oil the grill (using oil on a paper towel).
We do not recommend just pouring oil directly on the grill. However, if you need someone to tell you not to pour oil over a fire, should you really be barbecuing at all? This is obviously just one small part of a bigger problem. Maybe talk to someone about it? All of the staff at our stores are super helpful with this kind of thing. At the very least, perhaps they’ll suggest you don’t handle hot flames and oil and can give you an assortment of take-out menus so you still get a good meal in your gut without setting the neighbourhood on fire.
Drain the brine from the bag with the chicken, and transfer the chicken to a big dish. Pat dry with a paper towel, and then place the wings on the prepared grill.
Allow the wings to cook, undisturbed and covered, for 5 minutes. Open the lid, and then flip the wings over. Continue to cook, flipping and rotating (and encouraging general merriment) until slightly charred on the outside and cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the wings are cooking, whisk butter, hot sauce, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.
When the wings are cooked through, transfer them to a big bowl. Pour the prepared sauce over top, and toss to coat. Serve immediately with plenty of wet-naps and several rolls of paper towel.