I am not a chicken wing fan. My husband, on the other hand, really likes them and asks me to make them at home but, well, I’m just not into wings. We are both pro football fans and I like to experiment with different "football food” on game day so what food says football more than wings? My concern was they would be greasy and flabby - nothing divine about those words.
I remembered seeing an episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats in which he made wings employing a steaming method to remove some of the fat before baking them. The recipe requires advance planning because the wings are steamed first, then put in the fridge for an hour before baking them. His recipe included a “glaze” but my hub prefers wings with dry seasoning and a dipping sauce. Steaming completed, I had some research to do while the wings rested in the fridge. A local restaurant we frequent has "Dixie" wings which have an herb rub that I thought I would like to try to replicate. I could not find anything similar on the internet but I did find a 5 spice Chinese rub for wings that sounded promising. And, as a bonus, the recipe included a creamy cilantro sauce - nice. Wing rub dilemma solved and dipping sauce in the fridge for the flavors to meld, it was time to turn back to the wings. I tossed the wings in the 5 spice rub, set them on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan and popped them into a 450° oven. The cooking time of 40 minutes seemed extremely long and I was afraid of over cooking the meat. But, I ended up leaving the wings in even longer, another 15-20 minutes at 375°, because they were not as crispy as I would have liked.
To my surprise, all that time in the oven didn't dry out the wings - these were the best wings I had ever made at home. Great crisp and no grease. My hub said they were outstanding. I don't know about that, but they were very good without the mess of deep frying. The creamy cilantro sauce was an excellent contrast with the spice rub. Are the extra steps of steaming than refrigerating worth the time - I say absolutely!
Alton’s wing recipe (steaming/baking method): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/orange-glazed-chicken-wings-recipe.html
Chinese five spice rub and cilantro dipping sauces recipes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/spicy-chinese-five-spice-rubbed-chicken-wings-with-creamy-cilantro-dipping-sauce-recipe.html