Chicken wings have three distinct parts. Cut off the wing tips, which have almost no meat on them, and discard them or reserve them for making stock. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the remaining wings into 2 pieces at the joints (this is very easy to do). The pieces are now ready to cook and small enough to be eaten easily with 1 hand.
This marinade adds just the right smoky, spicy-hot touch to chicken wings.
Servings: 28 pieces
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce*), or more to taste
- 2 chipotle chili peppers (from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce*), seeded and finely chopped or more to taste
- Zest from 1 large orange
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- 3/4 cup wood chips
In a food processor or blender, combine the adobo sauce, chipotle peppers, orange zest and juice, oil, honey and salt to taste and process until smooth. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut the wing tip from each chicken wing; discard or save for chicken stock. Each wing should now have 2 parts, a drummette and a wing, connected by a joint. Cut through the joint to create 2 separate pieces.
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic food storage bag, add the chipotle-orange marinade and shake or stir to coat. Cover the bowl or close the bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Have ready 6 large squares of aluminum foil.
When ready to cook the chicken, prepare the grill for indirect cooking. If it's a charcoal grill, build the fire on 1 side (the chicken will go over a drip pan on the other side of the grill). If it's a gas grill, turn on all the burners to preheat, then turn off 1 burner just before you place the chicken over that spot. If your grill has a thermometer, try to keep the heat between 350 and 400 degrees.
Divide the drained chips among the foil squares and wrap the chips to form a packet. Using a knife, make several small slashes in each packet. When the grill is ready, place 2 of the wood chip packets on the coals or over the hottest part of the grill.
Remove the chicken wings from the marinade, shaking gently to allow any excess to drip off. Discard the remaining marinade. Arrange the wings in a single layer on the grill rack away from the heat, making sure there is no fire directly below the chicken. (The chicken may need to be cooked in 2 batches.) Cover the grill and cook, keeping an eye on the grill. It may be necessary to adjust the heat by adding coals to the fire to maintain an even cooking temperature of 350 to 400 degrees. You may also need to add new wood chip packets if the old ones stop smoking. Grill for 15 minutes. Turn the wings and grill until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Serve warm.
* Note: Chipotle in adobo can be found in the Latin-American section of many supermarkets or in specialty markets.
Tested by The Washington Post.
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