If there's a dad somewhere in your life, chances are he'll be thrilled to kick back and watch TV with a plate of these spicy, sticky, finger-lickin' wings by his side, brought to you by Virginia Willis, the acclaimed southern chef, blog writer of Down-Home Comfort, author of no less than 5 cookbooks, renowned food writer and the subject of today's Famous Fridays. With her emphasis on family and traditional cooking, she's the perfect person to highlight today and help us usher in the Father's Day weekend.
Recently I picked up a copy of Virginia's cookbook, Bon Appetit, Y'all. Besides the fact that it's filled with so many wonderful sounding and looking recipes, it's also peppered with stories about Virginia's childhood growing up in the deep South and you know how much I appreciate family stories and traditions. Yet it's not only focused on classic Southern cooking. It's also got a decided slant towards classic French cooking, which makes for an interesting dichotomy and read.
These Coca-Cola Glazed Wings however, are American through and through and earned Virginia a Golden Whisk Award from The Atlanta Journal Constitution as one of the best recipes of 2005. And no wonder, since they are everything you hope a chicken wing will be--sticky, slightly sweet, tender and with a definite kick! And the especially good thing is that these are totally easy to make and you can do them in the oven, so even if the weather isn't cooperating, you can churn these out!
You start by cooking up the glaze, which is nothing more than soda, brown sugar, lime juice and chopped jalapenos until it's a thick, syrupy, spicy goopy mess! Then you brush that goopy mess all over the wings, bake them for about an hour so that they're mostly cooked through and stick them under the broiler so that all that sugar caramelizes.
The sweetness of the Coke combined with the fire of the jalapenos is fantastic! And at the risk of being sexist, real he-man food! So treat a dad in your life to these amazing wings this weekend and bring a little of Virginia Willis' down-home cooking style into your kitchen! Happy Father's Day!!
Virginia Willis' Coca-Cola Glazed Wings-Famous Fridays
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes (only about 10 minutes active); Cook Time: About 1 hour and 20 minutes
- 1 cup Coca-Cola Classic
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (2 makes this very spicy--use one if you want it milder)
- About 3 pounds chicken wings
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 1-2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place wings on the sheets and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan combine the soda, lime juice, brown sugar and chopped jalapenos. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Turn heat very low and keep warm.
3. When wings are almost cooked through, remove from oven. Adjust oven rack to top position and turn on the broiler. Turn wings upside down, coat well with a generous amount of the glaze and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Remove and brush with more glaze. Return to the broiler to cook for a few more minutes. Watch carefully. If wings are getting too dark, remove from oven. Turn wings over and coat tops with glaze. Cook for a few minutes, baste with more glaze and cook again for a few minutes, until tops have blackened spots. Serve immediately.
4. Recipe doubles well and leftovers can be reheated in a 350ºF oven until hot and crisped up.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'all by Virginia Willis. I cut down the amount of jalapenos from 3 to 2 and I cook the wings first in the oven rather than just broiling them.