Chicken wings Served Hot or Cold with a Side of Family History

Chicken wings Served Hot or Cold with a Side of Family History

A morning rain, a constant breeze, and a partly cloudy sky kept the 4th of July unseasonably pleasant in the northwest corner of the state.  In the 100-degree Conway heat last week, as I thought about what to make for a holiday potluck, I remembered the cold chicken wings my mom made every summer. Expecting a typical summer day, I wanted to prepare a savory dish, but one that would be cool to the touch.

Enter Nana’s chicken wings. I have very clear memories of eating these wings, and wanted to hear from my mom her memories as well. So after our afternoon feast yesterday, I asked her to give me a call:


Below are the results of my efforts, leaning on two previous generations and their experience with the recipe over the years. Ingredients:

4 # chicken wings (2 packages of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative chicken wings should get you somewhere between 3 and 4 pounds)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce (low salt)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (added by Pan)
1 Tbsp sesame oil (added by Pan)

Photo of Chicken Wings and all ingredients listed below on cutting board.

Ingredients: We had everything but ginger already in the kitchen.

Combine all ingredients except the chicken wings in a bowl. (We used the modified original recipe and included the vinegar and sesame oil added by Mom)

Whisk together ingredients for about 30-45 seconds.

Place wings and sauce in large zip-top bag and marinate several hours.

When ready to cook wings, preheat oven to 275 F.

Line several cookie sheets with heavy-duty foil. (Our wings released without friction, but our foil remains stuck to the cookie sheet. I recommend heavy-duty foil, a layer of parchment under foil, or a spray of non-stick oil under the foil)

Spray non-stick cooking spray over foil, or rub with oil to prevent sticking.

Place wings on cookie sheets without wings touching each other.

Pour marinade from zip-top bag over chicken and bake for 2 hours, turning ½ way through.

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After 2 hours, the marinade has browned to the wings. It smells so good in our house right now.

Separate by gently pulling sections apart while running a sharp knife toward the joint.

Serve immediately with napkins, place in refrigerator for next-day cold picnic, or freeze for a ready-to-heat appetizer as Nana used to do.

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