SO I seriously have a thing for wings. I really do. Or more specifically, ranch dressing. Because that makes total sense, right? If you live in the midwest, it totally makes sense. If you live anywhere else you probably are gagging. Ranch? Is it still legal in the US? Damn right it is. FDA approved – in all that is creamy and holy – my lil chub nuggets. Us Mid-Westerners (can I call myself that if I’ve only lived here for a couple of years?) bypass the bleu cheese and dive (dip) head first into ranch dressing when it comes to our wing condiments.
I will actually have ranch cravings, which then bring on my wing cravings. Because really the only time I can justify this fat in a bottle is when wings are involved. Any other time it’s just flat (fat) out wrong. Okay, sometimes its acceptable with pizza. And definitely is okay on salads if you want to lose the health factor. And sometimes it’s good on a really nice steak. Kidding. That is what ketchup is for 😉
But now that I’ve grossed out the majority with the cellulite in a bottle, let’s go back to the reason for this post. Wings. Bacon skinned skinless wings. Drumettes to be exact. As if wings weren’t amazing by themselves, let’s go ahead and wrap them in bacon. done. But not just wrap ’em in bacon and call it a day. These wings need a little bit o’ love. Skinless drumettes. They are the KEY to the most perfectly textured wing. The reason being is that if you choose to wrap the bacon over skin-on drumettes, the skin that is under the bacon will never crisp up, leaving you with weird chewy soft skin, which is a serious no-no when it comes to a perfectly cooked wing. SO get out your kitchen scissors (that’s what they are for!?) or a small sharp knife (like a pairing knife) and trim away (note: i’ll go into a little more detail below on exactly how much skin you want to remove, you can refer to my pictures).
And when you are done grilling your bacon wrapped wings? Dress them up with a little teriyaki-honey glaze because going the extra mile is so totally worth it sometimes. Unless you are physically running it. Then it isn’t at all worth it. God gave you thumbs for a reason, hitch a ride instead.
The skinless drumette bit. What you really want to focus on is cleaning up the thick bits of skin on the chicken. You don’t really need to focus on the super thin parts if you don’t want to (or are in a rush). They don’t goo up like the thick parts. So just remove as much as you can. Also I prefer to leave a good 1/4″ of skin at the bottom of the wing (where you hold, the “handle”). Basically right where the chicken is exposed and not wrapped in bacon. it will crisp up super nicely from the fat of the bacon that drips down creating the most wonderfully textured and flavored bit of skin. This leaves perfect texture with every bite. And texture goes hand-in-hand with flavor when it comes to wings. Or really just food in general.
I use center cut bacon for my wings. This cut of bacon typically has less fat and mo’ meat. Stay away from thick-cut. It won’t wrap as nicely and you want the bacon to crisp up and have the same cooking time as the chicken (roughly).
For the marinade I just use my absolute FAVORITE one which you can find here (the easy atomic hot wing marinade). Or if spice isn’t your thing just use a combination of garlic powder, cumin, paprika salt, & pepper for a dry rub and let your wings chill in that for a couple of hours before you fire up the grill.
The teriyaki-honey sauce is 100 percent optional. It isn’t totally necessary since the wings already have so much flavor, which is why I like to brush it on lightly after the wings are cooked.
Serve with a side of ranch 😉 But in all honesty…. these actually don’t need any dipping sauce. =O
- 3 lb (roughly or 3 packages) drumettes (small wings)
- 2½ lb center cut bacon
- 2 habaneros, whole
- 2 jalapeños, whole
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup beer
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder (I prefer California style)
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce (kikkoman has a good one)
- 2 tbsp honey (to taste)
- 1 tsp hoison (to taste)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- First remove drumettes from packaging and using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife remove thick skin, leaving about a ¼ - ½ " left on the bottom (or handle) of the chicken.
- Next, if using the marinade, blend marinade ingredients together in a food processor. In a large ziplock bag add drumettes and marinade and let chicken soak for at least 3-4 hours.
- Once chicken is done marinading, remove and pat dry. Take one slice of bacon for each wing and wrap, starting at the top (the thick part) and wrap around leaving about a ½" of the "handle" (the bottom of the wing) exposed (where you left some skin on).
- Using a tooth pick, carefully insert from bottom of wing through bacon, to the top of the wing, through the bacon. This will ensure that bacon stays wrapped while grilling.
- Let wings sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before grilling. During this time, fire up the grill!
- Set grill to medium heat and place wings directly on grill for about 16 minutes (lid closed mostly). Turning wings over half way through, or more if bacon is browning too quickly on one side. I like to turn mine about 4 times to ensure crispy cooked bacon all around.
- Remove from heat.
- Prep sauce (whisk ingredients together in a small bowl) and then brush on wings. Serve alone or with some ranch (bleu cheese) for dipping.