How To Make Sean Brock's Grilled Chicken Wings With Burnt-Scallion Barbecue Sauce
photo by Peter Frank Edwards
Often voted "best wings in America," Sean Brock's chicken wings at Husk never see the likes of a deep fryer or a blue cheese anything. Instead, these wings get an overnight brine, tossed in oil and BBQ rub, grilled on an open flame, then smoked to perfection. In other words, technique and time are what make these wings sing and stand out from the crowd.
RECIPE FOR GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS WITH BURNT-SCALLION BARBECUE SAUCE Reprinted from Heritage by Sean Brock
I am borderline obsessed with chicken wings. It’s the perfect food after a long work shift or on a chill day with your friends, crushin’ cheap American beers in the backyard. It’s food that allows you to let your guard down. After all, you’re eating food cooked on the bone with your hands and licking the sauce from your fingers in-between chugs of ice-cold beer. Pure Heaven.
Note that the wings must be brined overnight.
Makes 12 Pieces 1 Tablespoon sorghum 6 Chicken Wings, cut into tips and drumettes 3 Tablespoons green peanut oil 1 Tablespoon Husk BBQ Rub ¾ Cup thinly sliced scallions ½ Cup dry-roasted peanuts, preferably Virginia peanuts, chopped 1 Tablespoon peanut oil 1 Cup Husk BBQ Sauce 1 Tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Foods Bluegrass Soy Sauce Charcoal chimney starter 3 Pounds hardwood charcoal
FOR THE BRINE: Combine the ingredients for the brine. I brine the wings using either a heavy-duty plastic bag that the wing tips can’t puncture or a Cryovac machines (you use a lot less brine this way). Place the wings in the brine and turn to cover well.
Soak the wood chips in water for a minimum of 30 minutes but preferably overnight.
FOR THE SAUCE: Toss the scallions in the peanut oil and season with salt. Lay them out on the grill rack and heavily char them on one side, about 8 minutes (the charred side should be black). Remove them from the grill and cool for about 5 minutes. Clean the grill rack if necessary.
Put the scallions and the remaining sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside at room temperature.
FOR THE WINGS: Fill a chimney starter with 3 pounds hardwood charcoal, ignite the charcoal, and allow to burn until the coals are evenly lit and glowing. Distribute the coals in an even layer in the bottom of a kettle grill. Place the grill rack as close to the coals as possible.
Drain the wings; discard the brine. Dry the wings with paper towels, toss in the peanut oil, and season with the BBQ rub.
Place the wings in a single layer on the grill rack over the hot coals and grill until they don’t stick to the rack anymore, about 5 minutes. Turn the wings over and grill for 8 minutes more. Transfer the wings to a baking sheet.
Drain the wood chips. Lift the rack from the grill and push the coals to one side. Place the wood chips on the coals and replace the rack. After about 3 minutes, place the wings in a single layer over the side of the grill where there are no coals. Place the lid on the grill, with the lid’s vents slightly open; the vents on the bottom of the grill should stay closed. Smoke the wings for 10 minutes. It’s important to monitor the airflow of the grill: keeping the lid’s vents slightly open allows a nice steady flow.
Remove the wings from the grill, toss them in the sauce, and place them on a platter or in a serving pan. Top with the chopped scallions and peanuts and serve.