Wonderfully smoky, tender meat with a lightly crispy skin, these smoked and then fried chicken wings were a thing of beauty. These are one of most dangerous things you could ever put in front of me. I don’t even need any sauce to toss or dunk them in, either. Just give me a big basket of them and get out of the way! The process is simple. Season your wings, and place them onto your smoker. No messing around with them either. Just smoke for 2 hours.
When the wings are done you toss them into a deep fryer for a minute or so, until golden brown and lightly crispy. You can also make a big huge batch and freeze the smoked wings (before frying). All you have to do is thaw them and deep fry them when you’re ready to serve them at a later time. I was worried that making them from the frozen smoked wings would result in over-cooked, tough wings, but oh no, they were fantastic!
There’s a brewpub by our house, Redemption Alewerks, that makes crazy-good chicken wings. They smoke them first over a mix of mesquite and cherry woods, then flash fry them. They sauce them then place them over a hot flame to finish them off. My approach is similar, but I don’t always put them onto the grill at the end. They are fantastic either way, but grilling them real quick does help set the sauce.
For smoked wings that seem like they were fried, but weren’t, try my almost-fried smoked wings. Same great crunch and flavor without the oil.
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.
Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like. I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks because I wanted a good, noticeable smoke flavor. Use a lighter wood if you want your wings to be a little less smoky.
Place the wings onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. No need to rotate or flip them.
When done, remove from the smoker. You can deep fry them immediately or freeze them for thawing and frying later.
To fry, heat canola oil to 350 F.
Working in batches, add the wings and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they are the desired color.
Let cool slightly. Serve tossed with your favorite sauce and your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
Optional: Toss the wings onto a hot grill for 1 minute after saucing them to set the sauce.
This is the first time I tried making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex insert on my Weber charcoal grill. I use my Vortex a lot for making chicken wings, which are always fantastic, but I wasn’t sure how mimicking that great fried flavor would come out. Well, my worries were completely unfounded because the chicken came out absolutely fantastic. I swore I was eating chicken right out of a deep-fryer. Great Southern-inspired coating, tender meat and yes, very, very crunchy skin. Since this was my first time I didn’t want to over-crowd my Performer with chicken. But now that I’ve got the process down, I could’ve easily added a few more pieces. And you don’t have to just use split bone-in chicken breasts like I did. Wings, legs, thights… you name it, all will come out great ‘fried’ using the Vortex. Just don’t let the pieces overlap, because wherever they touch, they won’t get crispy.
4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (or whatever cuts you prefer)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika (you can use smoked paprika for more grilled-like flavor)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fire up your Kettle grill with the Vortex loaded with charcoal. Don't start cooking until the coals are all lit and starting to ash over.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a large baggie.
Lightly brush the chicken with vegetable oil.
Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the bag. Seal and shake. Shake off excess.
Transfer chicken to the grill along the edges, skin-side up.
Cover and cook for 45 minutes, turning the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
After 45 minutes lightly brush the chicken with more vegetable oil. Use caution as the grill will be hot. Note: If you are using pieces other than split chicken breasts, you'll want to rotate the pieces at this time.
Cover and cook another 15 minutes or until the chicken hits 160 F.
Remove and let rest and come to 165 F before serving.
Roasted chickpeas just won’t stay crunchy for long. As they cool they get soft and mushy. Ewwwww! The only way to get really crunchy, really great chickpeas is to deep-fry them. Then hit them with your favorite seasonings. Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper are perfect. Then devour.
I suggest you double the recipe when making these deep-fried chickpeas as you’ll eat half of them while you are finishing cooking the other half. They’ll stay crunchy longer than roasted peas, but they will get softer as time goes on. You won’t have to worry about that because they won’t last that long.
These Bayou fried shrimp are absolutely incredible. I’m quite sure they are the best shrimp I’ve ever made or had. The coating is nice and light, with just a bit of crunch, and a bit of a spicy kick. The shrimp are tender, moist, and cooked perfectly. They are the perfect appetizer, but would be even more insanely good on a shrimp po boy sandwich. I served them up with Frog Bone Bayou Cajun cocktail and St. Elmo’s Spicy cocktail sauces. The marinade and coating mixture I used on this Bayou fried shrimp would also be fantastic on other fried seafood, from oysters to fish. It’s really great stuff.
These southern fried shrimp are darned good shrimp. I love shrimp, cooked any way you can imagine, but fried or boiled are my favorites. These little beauties can be eaten one-by-one or my favorite way, on a po boy sandwich. They’re tender with just a bit of coating and plenty of spicy flavor.
If you can’t find Tony Cachere’s fish fry in your grocery store you can use other fish fry mixes or just substitute all-purpose flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
There’s good and then there’s great. Nothing beats Nashville hot chicken when it comes to great fried chicken. The best, light, crunchy coating that you can imagine. Tender, moist chicken. And of course, heat. Plenty of heat. I could make and eat Nashville hot chicken any day of the week.
Because I prefer chicken wings over say, split chicken breasts, I used wings for this dish. They were crazy good. No need for blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce, either. Just pick them up and get to eating. I don’t recommend being too shy with the spicy coating that you brush on the chicken just before serving. It’s hot, trust me, but I didn’t find it to be so hot that I couldn’t stand it. But don’t get me wrong, your eyes will water. At the minimum.
You’ll find that the coating is so good you’ll want to use it for other things, like chicken nuggets or fingers.
I grilledTwinkies not long ago, and I thought, “Hey, these are good!”. Then, yesterday I tossed some Twinkies into my Char-Broil Big Easy for just a few minutes, and I thought, “Wow, these are absolutely INCREDIBLE!”. The Twinkies get a fantastic crust on them, while the insides get all ooey gooey, marshmallowy yummy! I mean, these little treats are beyond addicting! I drizzled a bit of strawberry syrup over the Twinkies to make them extra-special. Chocolate syrup. Roasted nuts. Whipped cream. Anything can be added, but they are also beyond fantastic by themselves. You can fit a lot of Twinkies on the Big Easy at once, specially if you have the Bunk Bed basket or a Wingin’ator 3000, making them the perfect dessert for a crowd.
I like these onion strips more than I like onion rings. I think it’s because I can eat a lot of them and still feel like I didn’t eat that many. They’re dangerously addicting, with a light batter coating and the perfect dipping shape and size.
The dipping sauce is equally fantastic, with a kick of cayenne and horseradish. As much as I do like horseradish, it can get a little overwhelming for me, so I cut the amount in half when I made a batch of the sauce and it still came out great.