Sunday Patio Chicken Wings in Spring – Steamboat Springs BBQ and Spice

The results of not being able to go out and get a favorite food of mine.

Steamboat Springs Sundays are great days, but I miss sports on TV right now.  I also miss Sunday football games where I would get a regular diet of favorite football food.  Having not made chicken wings in awhile, I grabbed a bag from the (well-picked over) freezer section at the grocery and put them to brining.

Brining is an excellent technique that adds flavor and moisture to poultry.  It isn’t a technique I use much, but today I am really in to some tasty wings.  

Tony Catcher’s is one of my favorite go-to seasonings that I use.  It is excellent with fried potatoes and most poultry.  After pouring a gallon of water into a pot, I added two tablespoons of Tony Catcher’s Creole Spice and two tablespoons of sugar.  Stir, add the wings, and let them sit a few hours.

Brining the wings with some Tony Catcher’s Creole Seasoning

For today’s wings, I set my smoker at 190 degrees and let it warm up.  I then filled the wood tray with apple chips and waited for them to smoke.

As the smoker warmed up, the wings were placed on a a grill rack from the smoker.  They were topped with Boss Lemon Pepper and chili powder.  When the smoker was at temperature, I placed them in.

Seasoned with Boss Chili Powder and Lemon Pepper

It took me some time to figure out why my smoked chicken was bitter- they were smoked too long!  Now, I usually smoke chicken about an hour or so.  Today, I am going two and a half hours because I brined the wings.  The meat has soaked up water and spices and has left less room for smoke to penetrate.

At the end, to make sure all the chicken wings were to temperature, I put them on the grill for about 10 minutes.  It made the skin crispy and made sure the meat was cooked.

On the grill for finishing

For the sauce, Valentina’s Hot Sauce is an inexpensive favorite of mine.  Definitely a traditional Buffalo flavor guy, I tend towards Frank’s Hot Sauce.  Once I found Valentina’s, I converted.  The only other hot sauce that is consistently in the refrigerator is Cholua.

After the hot sauce base, Siracha was added for tang, onion and garlic powder for depth, and that’s it!  I mixed this with a whisk and the end result was an excellent product.  The wings were crisp on the outside and super-soft and full flavor.

To me, chicken wings are a staple on the menu.  I was in college when Buffalo wings first made their way out of New York and into the mouths of hungry Americans.  They were 35 cents a pound!  Oh, those were the good old days!