Wingin It

During morning coffee the other day, the Mrs’ opening gambit for intimate small talk was, “we have wings we need to use.” She had me at “we.”

The usual procedure is to thaw said chicken parts, brine the same for 24 hours and … wait, you want to know what brine is? Dude, this is about the umpteenth time I have mentioned brine. Do a search on the blog and we will be here when you get it figured out.

Where was I? Oh yeah, rinse the brine off the chicken, so it doesn’t taste too salty. Unless you like that. Now, normally I fire up the Weber grill and we go that route. However, these ain’t normal times, no sir. The Mrs is retired and I am apparently working for her. I thought I was working for the house at first, but I was corrected, just recently, and told that no, I was working for her. All I can say is, that arrangement has some great fringe benefits for all the trouble involved.

These are the last, very last chicken bits that we raised ourselves. Pete and his buddies. I am not real sentimental over chickens, but I did get a bit dewy eyed at the thought of no more home raised chickens. You see, the Mrs wants to live in town, and towns lately have been declaring themselves a poultry free zone. I mentioned this fact to her, and she was also reminded that I have noisy hobbies. Nobody, I told her in my adult serious voice, wants to hear my table saw at 2 AM. I was given the patented “whatever dude” look. She can be a real stinker at times. If common sense does not work (Pro Tip, hardly ever with the female sex), next up is guilt followed closely by extortion. We play hard ball out here on the lone prairie. What else you gonna do when you don’t have any TV.

So, the appointed day rolls around and I fire up the ole Weber, who had done many, many of our delicious meals, and thought I had things in hand for lunch. In times past, this would have been the weekend; we were working stiffs and had no time for frivolity during the week. Now, it’s no schedules and I never know what day it is. Wings any dang day of the week work just fine.

Lately, I have been escaping my humdrum life, slaving for my darling, by looking at hobbies of my youth on YouTube. I am perusing out of doors activities, many coming down to hunting/camping or just plain old bushcrafting. What is bushcrafting you ask? Being handy in the woods is what it comes down to. I did quite a bit of this when I was young. Lived for a time in the Arizona desert while I panned for gold and lived off the land. Which is not as hopeless a cause as it sounds, the living off the land part. The gold panning part was character building in the extreme. I stayed out in there in the heat and cactus until the wild burros were looking rather fetching, and then took my lonely self back to town as fast as I could. Anyway, been watching people doing neat things in the woods.

I ended up building a stone campfire thing about where our old chili pepper smoker had been. Our Weber grill was next to it, because it was the only shaded area we have close to the house. It so happens that I had lit a fire in our campfire that day, mostly to chase the vermin out of the fire pit area.

Now, I had not grilled in a while and the Mrs did not really let me know what I was dealing with, other than wings. I decided I would use one charcoal chimney for the wings. When she handed me the wings, there was a whole mess of them. I began to question whether one chimney of charcoal was going to cut it, but ran with what I had, thinking I could maybe squeak this one out.

I slapped them on the grill and let them sit for 10 minutes. You know they are ready to turn over when they don’t stick to the grate. I flipped them and reset the timer for another 10. Now, normally, wings don’t take more than 25 to 30 minutes, but when I went out to check them at 20, they were looking a might pale. I put my beer down and pondered for a moment. I looked to my right and there was a campfire with lots of hot, glowing coals, I looked back at the Weber, and it was looking a bit weak kneed and put out. I decided to improvise, adapt and over come, as the Marines like to say. They trained me, so any time life drops a smelly one in my path, the adapt thing deploys automatically. Works almost every dang time, too. Ask the wife.

I hollered for the Mrs, I would have used the cell phone to page her, but her phone don’t work for a hoot in the house. I wanted her to bring instruments of transfer. She amazingly heard me and complied. Wow, normally I would have to trudge up the hill, jiggling my beer all the way, and yell in the door way. This was way better.

Sweat-Pea-WatchingWhile she was gathering up the sad looking wings, I was remaking our campfire into anNew-Home impromptu bushcraft grill. I pushed all the coals to one side, put a couple of cement bricks in the middle, something for the grill to rest on. The wings got placed in their new hot home, and when the last one was in place, I put the Weber cover on them and sat back with a smile.

Did I mention these were destined to be Buffalo Wings, the really hot kind. Yeah, we love em a lot, but changed up the recipe to grilling the wings before adding the sauce. It makes a whole world of difference. In fact, we won’t eat Buffalo Wings unless they are raised by us and grilled first. A very strong argument to live not so close to town.

Saucing-it-upThe wings browned up nicely on the new and improved grill, and before you know it,wings-start they were getting sauced up back in the house. My son loves these things but we forgot to call him. Oh well, more for me then. The only strong recommendation I can make for you, when these guys hit the table, is to have lots of paper towels per person. That and practice eating spicy hot things a lot, before you dig in to this. You’d be surprised how easy it is to breeze past your pain limit and now you can’t even wipe the tears away without burning your eyes out. Another of my noisy hobbies. Bon Appétit

wings-done