I like chicken wings, but I think they are among the poorest values in the entire meat department. Because of America’s propensity to order chicken wings as appetizers at all the sports bars across country, the demand for wings is higher than the supply, thus the price is inflated. Sometimes – sometimes – you can buy wings at $1.99 a pound if you buy enough to serve Madison Square Garden at a sold-out Knicks game. But usually, the price is $2.49 to 2.99. Frequently, you can find boneless chicken breasts at 99c a pound. Compare the amount of meat and the quality of a boneless breast to a floppy old wing and it’s easy to see how wings aren’t your best buy.
But dammit, I like wings. I have a good recipe that we enjoy, so on occasion I’ll bite the bullet and buy them.
If you shop around a little and compare, you can often find chicken drumettes at around $3.29 or less a pound. The drumette is the upper section of the chicken wing, the shoulder when compared to the forearm. It’s a chunkier cut with less fat and far more meat than the second section. And when you consider that the lower, tip section on a whole wing is worthless, the drumette offers twice the value of an ordinary wing.
Last week I was poking around in the poultry section and found two pounds of the drumettes for less than $7 and put them in my cart. I prepared them that evening and they were terrific.
Cooking wings isn’t rocket science, but here’s a simple recipe I use that is easy to prepare, less fattening and very tasty. It takes about a pound per serving. You can eat more, but that’s enough, so for a couple of people buy two pounds.
Wash and pat dry the wings, then lightly coat in olive oil. Add lots of Kosher salt and a generous amount of Sauer’s Chicken Rub (or your favorite brand). Let rest ten minutes, flip over and apply the salt and rub on the other side. Put the wings in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove the wings and coat with Frank’s Hot Sauce. Put them back in for 5 minutes, flip them again and serve in another 5 minutes.
Really easy, really good: Even better if you can find the drumettes on sale.
2 Pounds drumettes if available
1 T. olive oil
Sauer’s Chicken Rub (or your favorite rub)
2 cups Frank’s Hot Sauce.
Serves 2 as an entrée