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Yankee Chicken Wings
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

Ahhhh, that long time rival: Buffalo vs. New England. In my home, my oldest
boy (15 years old) loves to "walk against traffic." He has always liked Buffalo
even though he is a 12th generation Yankee. Well, at least football food will still
keep us all together regardless of who we root for.

But just to be a stick in the mud and a thorn in my son's side, I would like to
offer another rivalry: Chicken Wings! We all love those red basted hot wings that
are acclaimed across the globe known as Buffalo Wings. But here is my spin on
these classic tailgating snacks. It has the same kick but a slightly sweet aftertaste
that I think you will enjoy. Don't be afraid to use this sauce on chicken drums as
well.

I have Frenched these wings just because I had some spare time on my hands
but this isn't necessary. I have also removed all the skin from the wings as well
in order to lower the saturated fat content. I promise the taste or crispness is not
compromised on bit. In fact, I enjoy savoring the flavor of the chicken itself rather
than the fatty skin.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup jarred, sliced banana peppers, packed*
3 tablespoons juice from jarred banana peppers*
1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon chopped, dried dill, optional
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

20-24 chicken wings, Frenched (if desired, see instructions, below) and skin
removed (if desired)

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water well: set aside.

Make the Yankee Wing Sauce: In a food processor or blender, add the peppers,
pepper juice, apple juice, mustard, dill and maple syrup. Pulse until well
combined and the peppers are very small, remove to a medium saucepan. Over
high heat, bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly. Stir the cornstarch slurry
once again to bind together and when sauce is boiling, quickly add and stir
immediately. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. You will notice the
sauce has thickened and it will continue to thicken upon standing, as well as
form a skin on top. Stir frequently to prevent this skin from forming.

In the meantime, preheat your gill to medium-high heat. Cut the chicken wing
tips off (the part that has no meat). Doing this allows the wings to lay flat on the
grate. Arrange the wings on the grill and cook for about 16-18 minutes,
depending on the size of the wings. Turn wings frequently.

About 10 minutes into cooking, start basting your wings with the Yankee Wing
Sauce liberally. About a minute before removing from the grill, baste one last
time. Remove to a serving platter and either dose these sweet and spicy wings
with more sauce or serve it on the side.

*Or substitute 1 small yellow habanero pepper, seeded and minced with 3 tablespoons apple
cider vinegar.

Frenching Chicken Wings: With a sharp knife, slit the joint where the drum
meets the drummette (erroneously called the elbow) then cut off the chicken
wing tip. Grab the drum with one hand and the drummette with the other and
"rock" back and forth until you hear the pop of the joint coming out of place. You
can see the round joint protruding through the slit you just made.
Cut in between the drum and drummette and separate the two. With your
fingers, push the skin and meat of the drum toward the larger end, exposing the
bone underneath. Although not necessary, you can scrub the residual meat from
the bone. The reason some do this is because(as seen in the picture)when
cooking, it blackens and thereby is not very presentable. But it was just me
eating these wings so I didn't much care.

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About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third
generation chef, a New England food historian and food columnist. His
new cookbook is called
The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every
Kitchen. He would love to hear from anyone about their old family
recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:

theyankeechef@aol.com
.
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont