Paleo Chicken Wings

Who doesn’t love chicken wings? 

Our homemade wings with, or without, our Paleo blue cheese dipping sauce are a cut above standard sports bar wings. The result is a healthier and tastier Paleo chicken wing experience!

Paleo Chicken Wings

Sports bar chicken wings are as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.

We’ve certainly eaten our share – enough to choke a goat!

But, on further analysis, we decided we could cook up a totally Paleo wing experience.

Are Chicken Wings Paleo?

Chicken, especially boneless, skinless chicken breast, has been the ‘go to’ protein for countless diet trends. Unfortunately, research is confirming that chicken is at best a decent, but not the greatest, whole food protein source.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, the answer stems from the way your typical conventional chicken is raised and fed. In a marketplace that rewards quick growth and maximum weight, conventional growers have no choice but to produce birds fed on grain that is laced with antibiotics, growth hormones and even arsenic. Also, chicken fat contains a significant amount of omega-6 fat (bad) and our process of rendering or sweating the chicken to reduce the fat is one way to reduce the toxic affects of omega-6. For more info read this article entitled “Chicken, Why Art Thou So Mediocre?” by Paul Jaminet of The PerfectHealthDiet.

This is a little scary. It surely gave us pause.

What can be done to rehabilitate the wings – our All American food? Well, some simple chicken buying guidelines are in order.

At the Byrd House we aim for organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, free range or real cage free chicken, and focus on the less fatty cuts because the fat is where the toxins tend to be concentrated. While omega-6 fats (bad) cannot be totally eliminated from chicken, we can at least take steps to render or sweat out some of the omega-6 chicken fat before we prepare the wings.

The bottom line is that chicken breast is a good protein source, but the dark meat in the legs, thighs and wings – not so much.

And, that is where our recipe for great tasting, homemade Paleo chicken wings begins.

Begin with Organic, Free-Range, Toxin-Free Wings

We have used Publix GreenWise wings and WholeFoods organic wings to make absolutely sure that no toxins are lurking in the fatty part of the wings.

Prepare the Grill or Preheat the Oven

Get started by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Or, build a charcoal fire in the trusty Weber grill and when the coals are hot push them to one side so that the coals cover no more than half of the grill.

Parboil the Wings

Next, we simmer the wings in a stock pot of salted water, with some added fresh herbs if you like, for 10 to 15 minutes. This parboiling ‘renders’ or sweats some of the fat out of the wings so that they cook up crispy on the grill or in the over, just as if they were fried in oil. Rest assured there is plenty of fat leftover to give the wings that great taste we all expect.

Dust the Wings with Spices

After the parboil, pat the wings dry with a paper towel  and shake in a paper or plastic bag to coat with a spice mixture of one part each of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. When well coated, sit the coated wings on a wire rack positioned over a foil disposable cooking pan and let them rest for a few minutes.

Cook the Wings

In the Oven. Cook the wings in the 425-degree oven for 30 minutes, give or take 10 minutes, until the quick read thermometer inserted into the deepest crevice of the wing reads at least 150-160 degrees. Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil.

On the Grill. Put the foil pan with the wings on the half the grill opposite the coals. Close the lid and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the wings are browned. Remove and loosely tent with foil.

Note, you can fry the wings in olive oil if you must have that fried experience. See our post of using EVO for frying. There’s no need to coat the wings with anything other than the spice mixture.

Buffalo Wing Sauce

The most amazing thing is how simple it is to concoct a really great Buffalo wing sauce. All it takes is butter and Frank’s Original Cayenne Hot Pepper Sauce. It is simply ½ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce with 1/3 cup melted butter or ghee. Mix thoroughly in a large bowl and add the wings to coat. If you are an extreme heat lover, add cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce. And, if you want more vinegar, add it.

The truth is that these wings are so good that many times we skip the Buffalo Wing sauce and eat these great Paleo wings just the way they come off the grill.

Serve with blue cheese dressing, recipe below, and celery sticks.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. unsweetened full fat Greek yogurt or unsweetened cultured coconut milk
  • 4 oz. homemade mayonnaise or organic EVO mayo
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt (if you are a celery lover)
  • 6 oz. chunky blue or gorgonzola cheese, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or scallions, green and white parts

Method

  1. In medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayo and lemon juice
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic and onion power together and mix in to the yogurt mixture
  3. Carefully stir in the cheese so as to leave the mixture lumpy
  4. Decorate with the chives and/or scallions

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