My bar owner friend is about to open a beer garden that serves food and he wants to put my chicken wings recipe on the menu. I’ve made this for football games for years. Next week I am going to have to cook for the other owners and give them a tutorial on how it is done. The Golden Horn gets an exclusive preview.
I marinate the wings for 24 hrs. in Italian dressing, hot sauce, worcestershire, and a little bit of Tony’s seasoning. Remove the wings from the marinade and drain thoroughly. You can even pat them dry a little with paper towels but it is a pain in the ass. If you are doing a lot a wire rack placed over the sink works well. Just flip them a couple of times to get most of the marinade off.
Season the wings generously. I use a combo of Tony’s Creole seasoning, and Greek seasoning. A lot of it will end up on the grill so you want to coat them well.
Next brown the wings on a medium hot charcoal or gas grill for about 6-8 minutes, flipping and rotating every minute to a minute and a half. Do this to watch for hot spots because they will burn quickly on a hot grill.
Soak some wood chips or chunks in water for about 30-40 minutes before you start grilling. I use hickory or apple wood. If you use fruit wood you can pretty much smoke the entire time, but hickory and some others will oversmoke the wings because they are small.
After getting them all nicely browned, move them off the heat, and push the charcoal to one side so that they will cook with indirect heat. Then add the wood for smoke directly on the coals. They make metal smoking boxes for gas grills that work pretty well.
I will come back every 20-30 minutes to check the heat, rotate and flip the wings to make sure of even cooking/smoking, and add more wood chips once or twice, depending on how much smoke it is putting out.
Smoke the wings for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, or even an hour and a half if you have a nice low heat. You can brush the wings with BBQ sauce or sweet/sour glaze (Rum/Apricot glaze recipe below) for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. I usually do this step in the oven on a pan to keep them hot, but a lot of the time I use no sauce or glaze. They’re good plain.
Smoked or grilled meats go well with the Three Bean Salad recipe below. I usually make that and cornbread, and then a main dish like gumbo, chili, etc. when I am cooking for football games.