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~ Making Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings ~

IMG_2111When it comes to Buffalo-style wings, my mindset is, everybody into the pot.  Nothing beats the 14-minute deep-fry.  Sure, wings can be oven-roasted or grilled, but, it's my opinion those two methods compromise the end result -- the first doesn't render them crispy enough, the latter dries them out.  Oh gosh yes, for chicken-wing lovers who are fearful of frying, they are seemingly wonderful.  That said, nothing can compete with a deep-fried chicken wing straight out of the fryer basket -- crispy outer skin, fall-off-the-bone tender inner meat.  That's my opinion.  That said:

The crockpot?  Yes.  It's a decidedly different approach with a decidedly different, but lip-smackingly good outcome.

As odd as this is going to sound, the crockpot works great too.  Huh?  The crockpot?  Yep, crazily it does.  First, the wings gently cook in the orange-colored vinegary sauce for a lengthy, 3 hours (aka they've got plenty of time to suck up all that flavor).  Second, they go under the broiler for a brief, 4-5 minutes to sort-of crisp them up.  It's a decidedly-different approach resulting in a decidedly-different outcome from traditional deep-fried wings, but, they are oh-so flavorful. They're downright mouth-watering, slightly-sticky and lip-smacking succulent.  Different, but really good.

IMG_2114Meet my Crockpot Casserole Crock:

IMG_3106Meet Crockpot's Casserole Crock. For me, it's my latest acquisition in a long line of slow cookers.  I now currently own ten different brands, models and sizes -- which is odd because, me, not-the-queen-of-crockpot-cooking, uses a slow cooker, maybe, five-six times a year. While Crockpot rightfully peddles this one as a casserole crock (because it is essentially a 13" x 9" x 3" casserole), and, it's intended to make-and-take slow-cooked casseroles (it's got lock-in-place handles and a stay-cool handle for carrying the entire contraption), I saw it as a vehicle for 2 1/2-3 pounds of chicken wings, to cook evenly, in comfort -- single-layer spa-style.

2 1/2-3  pounds chicken wings, drumettes and flats

1  12-ounce bottle Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce, or your favorite brand of wing sauce

6  tablespoons honey

4  tablespoons salted butter

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing casserole

celery and carrot sticks, for garnish

blue cheese or Ranch dressing, for dipping or drizzling

6a0120a8551282970b0263e9466eaa200b 6a0120a8551282970b0263e9466eaa200b~ Step 1. Spray the inside of the crock casserole with no-stick cooking spray. Arrange the wings, in a single layer, side-by-side and close together, slightly-overlapping if necessary (just be sure not to pile them on top of each other).

IMG_1979 IMG_1979 IMG_1979~ Step 2.  In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan place wing sauce, honey and butter over medium heat.  Whisking constantly, cook until the butter has melted into the wing sauce and the mixture is uniform in color, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a 2-cup measuring container.  Yield:  2 cups sauce.

IMG_1986 IMG_1986 IMG_1986 IMG_1986~Step 3. Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the wing sauce evenly over the tops of wings. Cover crockpot. Cook on high for  2 1/2-3 hours (2 1/2 hours for smaller wings, 3 hours for larger wings).

IMG_2002 IMG_2002 IMG_2002 IMG_2002 IMG_2002IMG_2017IMG_2017~Step 4. Preheat broiler with oven rack positioned about 5" under the heat. Line a large 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with aluminum foil, then place a sheet of parchment in the bottom of pan, followed by a wire rack.  Remove the lid from crockpot.  One-at-a-time remove the wings.  Arrange the wings, side-by-side and slightly-apart (no overlapping) on prepared baking pan.  Using a pastry brush generously paint the the tops, sides and undersides with additional wing sauce (about 1 cup).

IMG_2023 IMG_2023~ Step 5. Place pan of wings under the broiler 4-5 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and wings are starting to showing signs of browning and charring. Watch carefully.  Wing sauce contains sugar, which goes from browned to burned quickly.

Take a taste & plate 'em & serve 'em (w/plenty of napkins):

IMG_2035Making Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings:  Recipe yields 20-24 wings/4-6 servings.

Special Equipment List: Crockpot's casserole crock or Crockpot; 1 1/2-quart saucepan; wire whisk; 2-cup measuring container; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; aluminum foil; parchment paper; wire cooling rack; pastry brush

6a0120a8551282970b0263ec18400e200cCook's Note: Teriyaki is a Japanese term referring to a method of cooking beef, chicken, fish or seafood marinated (in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, garlic and/or ginger) prior to being grilled, broiled or stir-fried. "Teri" is the Japanese word for "luster", and it's the sugar that gives the food its "teri" or shiny glaze.  In Japan, there is no official teriyaki sauce.  Teriyaki sauce was invented by the early Japanese settlers to the islands of Hawaii.  Try my  ~ Slow-Cooker Teriyaki-Style Chicken Wings ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020) 


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