The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Wed Jan 8, 2014

Garlic and Parmesan Chicken Wings

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Parmesan Garlic Wings

January tends to me one of my favorite grilling months as my attention turns towards recipe that would make one damn tasty Super Bowl party. As much as I love barbecue, I find apps (AKA: appetizers) like potato skins, jalapeno poppers, and nachos even more irresistible. In honor of this, I've decided to dedicate all of my January recipes to my favorite of all the party foods—wings! I already have a healthy collection of recipes for wings here that span the standard Buffalo to spicy Cajun to sweet Hoisin to Jamaican Jerk. Still, I don't think I could ever stop variating on these crown jewels of finger foods and have so many more tasty incarnations to share, like these garlic and parmesan wings.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

My process to get juicy wings with crackling skin on the grill has been well documented on this blog over and over again. Inevitably just about every recipe this month will follow the same procedure and I figure it best to go over it once again for any newbies out there.

Grilled wings can be pretty damn good, by so many fail due to flabby skin when compared to their crispy fried cousins. A few years ago my editor Kenji over Serious Eats found a way to get crunchy wings in the oven though, and I've used it ever since without fail on the grill.

The "secret" is coating them with baking powder and letting them air dry in the fridge for eight hours in the fridge prior to grilling. The rest in the fridge dries out the skins, so they can more effectively brown and crisp over high heat, while some of the chicken juices absorbed by the baking soda expand when heated, creating a textured skin that's closer to fried chicken, creating the desired blistery texture to give them and enhanced crunch and more sauce holding power.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

The rest in the fridge may seem long, but it allows ample time for the creation of sauces. In this case, I went with an Italian influence to pair with the primary ingredient of Parmesan. The coating sauce was comprised of extra-virgin olive oil, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, and black pepper whisked together in a small bowl.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

After their rest in the fridge, the wings were grilled over high indirect heat. Thanks to the high amount of fat in chicken wings, they can take this type of intense heat and still remain juicy, so I cook my wings for the right texture on the skin rather than internal temperature. When they start to look like this—light golden brown with a crackling skin—they're done. If any aren't quite there yet after about 45 minutes, they can be quickly crisped over direct heat, but be careful because they can burn pretty quickly since most surface moisture is long gone.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

Off the grill, the wings were immediately tossed with the basil and oil sauce while they were pipping hot.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

The sauce coated the wings entire and created moisture for the Parmesan, which was tossed in next, to cling onto.

Parmesan Garlic Wings

The wings were now ready for devouring, and they went quickly. The sauce created a pleasing herbal base with a little heat thanks to the red pepper. The cheese layer then complimented the basil and oil with a sharp nutty flavor that rounded out wing and made it feel whole and balanced. They were a fitting start for what's going to be a month of recipes that take wings to new great places and will certainly make any Super Bowl shindig more interesting and delicious.

Garlic and Parmesan Chicken Wings

A basil and red pepper sauce coat crispy grilled wings which are complimented with the strong nutty and salty bite of Parmesan.
  • Prep Time:
  • 15 Minutes
  • Inactive Time:
  • 8 Hours
  • Cook Time:
  • 40 Minutes
  • Total Time:
  • 8 Hours 55 Minutes
  • Yield:
  • 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grate Parmesan cheese

Procedure

  1. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Place wings in a large bowl and sprinkle with baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange wings in a single layer on wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.
  2. In a large bowl, olive oil, basil, garlic, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the wings skin side up over the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook until skins are crisp and are starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Transfer wings to bowl with oil and herb mixture. Toss to combine. Add in Parmesan cheese and toss again to evenly coat wings in cheese. Transfer to a serving tray and serve immediately.

Comments

  • 01
  • Josh says
    Hey man, I think you're missing the garlic under the Ingredients section.
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 12:36pm
  • 02
  • Josh says
    @Josh Thanks for pointing that out, it's in there now.
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 1:19pm
  • 03
  • Josh says
    Awesome. Can't wait to try these.
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 1:21pm
  • 04
  • Dax Phillips says
    Whoa! Those look awesome. Can't wait to give the recipe a try.
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 3:58pm
  • 05
  • Mike Baylus says
    These look great, and I love the idea of extra crispy skin! I usually let them sit in the fridge overnight as well, but haven't tried the baking soda trick. Is there no residual taste from the baking soda?
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 4:47pm
  • 06
  • Josh says
    @Mike Baylus Nope, no off taste that I can discern.
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 4:48pm
  • 07
  • Mike says
    Can't wait to try these! Thanks!
    Posted Wed, Jan 8 2014 4:51pm
  • 08
  • Phil in France says
    Holy moly, That looks great.
    Posted Thu, Jan 9 2014 5:35am
  • 09
  • David says
    Tried them. Awesome. Thanks josh.
    Posted Wed, Jan 15 2014 1:56pm
  • 10
  • Jason says
    Josh. What works better in this particular recipe? Microplaned fresh Parmesan or the less expensive pre-grated Parmesan? Don't want to waste the good (expensive reggino) stuff if it doesn't really matter. They're chicken wings after all ;) Thanks!
    Posted Mon, Feb 24 2014 2:04pm
  • 11
  • Josh says
    @Jason You can use the pre-grated Parmesan, but use decent Parmesan though, not the weird Kraft stuff.
    Posted Wed, Feb 26 2014 9:34pm
  • 12
  • Shambra Apoo says
    I love your recipes
    Posted Fri, Apr 11 2014 4:13pm
  • 13
  • Josh says
    @Shambra Apoo Thanks!
    Posted Fri, Apr 11 2014 4:20pm
  • 14
  • Dana says
    What temp (approx) should the grill be when covered?
    Posted Wed, Jun 18 2014 6:22pm
  • 15
  • Josh says
    @Dana The grill is usually around 425°F when these start roasting. By the end it may have dropped 25-50 degrees.
    Posted Wed, Jun 18 2014 7:45pm
  • 16
  • Jessica says
    How would you modify cooking on a gas grill?
    Posted Sun, Oct 19 2014 2:18pm

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