By saucing and basting chicken wings, we gain another layer of flavor
Saucing and basting chicken wings can play many roles. Once dressed up with a sauce, a chicken wing has the ability to take on a whole new persona. It can be Italian or Mexican. It can be spicy or it can be sweet. It’s the sauce that takes your chicken wings where you want them to go and is limited only by your imagination. Let’s face it; a great chicken wing is defined by its sauce.
Although a store bought sauce will work just fine, it’s more fun creating those “signature” concoctions that makes everyone hail you as the God of wings.
That same sauce can also be used as a basting sauce. That is, brushed on several times during the cooking process. In so doing, we not only build up that flavor, but we also keep our wings moist which will prevent them from drying out. If your sauce is of a thick nature, thin it down a little when basting. Use vinegar, apple juice or water to thin.
If you’ve elected to use a store bought brand, you can still make some adjustments to suit your personal tastes. Try adding cayenne pepper if you want more heat. Add brown sugar or honey if you need it sweeter. Other ingredients that can alter the flavor is garlic, pepper sauce, onion or garlic powder and even a shot of whiskey (no, that shot goes in the sauce).
Whatever you decide for a sauce, bring it to a boil in a saucepan and reduce the heat to a simmer to keep it warm. A cold sauce will quickly cool down your wings when applied. Keep a constant eye on it and stir often. Many sauces will burn easily.
If the sauce is high in sugar content or uses a tomato base, there’s the likelihood that they will burn if applied while the wings are cooking. Apply sauce at the end of the cooking process to avoid burning. The other option is to wait until wings are completely cooked and toss them with the sauce in a large bowl prior to serving.
Understanding the basic strategies for saucing and basting chicken wings will go a long way in preparing the perfect wing.