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Steamed & Oven Baked Chicken Wing Recipe
A photo illustrated recipe guide to creating Alton Brown's steamed & oven baked chicken "hot wings" as seen on Good Eats.

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Pyrex Vegetable Steamer
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Farberware Cookie Pan
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KitchenAid Santoku Knife


My last attempt at preparing this culinary treat, Baked & Grilled Buffalo Wings, went well but the end result wasn't as tasty as I had hoped.

Then I saw an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown titled "The Wing & I" in which he outlined a better method for cooking up crispy chicken wings.

The major difference between my first attempt and Alton Brown's method is that he steamed the chicken wings for 10 minutes in order to render out some of the fat. This would help create a very crispy skin while retaining the moisture inside the meat.

We were missing a few of the necessary cooking tools for this job so we went to Linens N Things to buy a Pyrex expandable vegetable steamer, a Farberware non-stick cookie pan, a large cooling rack, and a very sharp KitchenAid Santoku Knife.
 

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Linens N Things Cooling Rack
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Publix Chicken Wings
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Steamer In Large Pot
At the Publix supermarket we picked up about 3 1/2 pounds of whole chicken wings, Marie's chunky blue cheese, and some celery stalks. Alton mentioned that he doesn't like stopping for a salad when getting his wing on, but I like the palette cleansing ability of a piece of celery dipped into some blue cheese. After a bite of celery and a few sips of brew, I'm ready to conquer another spicy hot wing with renewed enthusiasm.
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Plastic Gloves & Sharp Knife
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Washing Chicken Wings
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Cut My Wings Into Pieces
First I matched up the expandable vegetable steamer with an appropriately sized pot and about an inch of water. Then I rinsed off the whole chicken wings, put on some plastic food service gloves, and began cutting the wings. Below you'll see a picture of the wing tip being cut and the joint flexing technique for easily cutting the wing from the drummette.
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Remove & Discard Wing Tip
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Flex Joint & Partially Cut
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Wings & Drummettes
Once all the wings were cut into pieces, I discarded the wing tips, and arranged the wings & drummettes on the steaming platter. Then I turned the oven range on to medium heat until the water in the pot was simmering, lowered the steamer in and covered the pot with the lid. After 10 minutes I pulled out the first batch of wings and put them on the cooling rack with paper towels and a cookie pan below them to soak up any extra grease drips. The water remaining inside the pot had a yellow hue and looked oily from all the fat that had rendered out of the wing skin.
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Steam For 10 Minutes
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Fat Rendered Out After 10 Mins.
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Dry In Refrigerator 1 Hour
Alton suggested that the wings be left to dry in the refrigerator for at least an hour before baking to ensure that the skin becomes crispy in the oven. While we waited for the wings to dry, we whipped up the two different types of sauce. The first was just a traditional mixture of hot sauce and butter. The other was an Oriental inspired wing glaze that included honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and crushed red pepper flakes.
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Butter & Hot Sauce
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Asian Wing Glaze Ingredients
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Stir Fry Sauce & Brown Sugar
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Bake @ 450 For 20 Mins
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Flip & Bake For 20 More Mins.
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Kikkoman Soy Sauce
When an hour had elapsed, we put the relatively dry wings into the oven for an initial 20 minutes, flipped them, and then put them in for another 20 minutes for a total cooking time of 40 mins. at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
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Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar
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Publix Pure Clover Honey
To prepare the Asian glaze we combined all the ingredients into a small sauce pan and reduced the mixture over medium heat. We poured part of the mixture into another container and threw a few splashes of hot sauce into the remaining glaze to create a third type of sauce for our wings.
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Louisiana Hot Sauce
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Light Brown Pure Cane Sugar
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Lakewood Pure Pineapple Juice


 
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Asian Wing Glaze Reducing
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2 Ounces Of Hot Sauce
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Traditional Hot Wing Sauce
For the traditional hot wing sauce we combined two ounces of Louisiana brand hot sauce and 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter. The butter was cut up into chunks and microwaved at a low power setting to evenly melt it. Then we combined the hot sauce and melted butter in a large mixing bowl.
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5 Tablespoons of Butter
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Chopped, Microwaved, Melted
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Oriental Wing Glaze Done
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Butter & Hot Sauce Mixing
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Traditional Hot Wing Sauce Done
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40 Minutes @ 450 F

As soon as the wings were done baking we tossed them into the three types of sauce (traditional, oriental glaze, & spicy oriental glaze). The aroma of the oriental glaze was sweet and appetizing while the traditional hot sauce just smelled like melted butter.

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Immediately Toss Wings
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Crispy, Buttery & Spicy
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Toss Wings In Asian Glaze
The Marie's chunky blue cheese dressing and celery sticks were already on the table so we sat down to enjoy our Alton Brown style steamed and baked chicken wings.
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Final Product
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All three varieties were vastly superior in texture and flavor to the McCormick Buffalo Wings I had made a few weeks earlier. The oriental glaze with Louisiana hot sauce was my favorite variety due to the crispy caramelized skin and sweet yet spicy taste. I found that the wings tossed in the traditional sauce with 5 tablespoons of butter was not as appealing as I had imagined they'd be. In the future I think we'll skip the butter altogether and just coat the wings in hot sauce. What's the point of rendering out all the fat with the steaming process to just soak them in butter later? The two oriental glaze varieties tasted better and felt healthier going down.
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Marie's Chunky Blue Cheese
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Celery Sticks
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3 Wing Flavor Varieties
For more recipes take a look at some of my other updates such as the Deep Fried Turkey, Oven Baked BBQ Ribs, Smoked Pork Baby Back Ribs, Hickory Smoked Pork Loin Ribs, Creamy Three Cheese Italian Risotto, Three Cheese Chicken Marsala Recipe, Mr. Beer Home Brewing Kit, Cold Brewed Coffee Iced Dessert Drink, and the Melting Sugar Food Artwork Experiment.

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