You'll probably notice I don't post a lot of "light" or "low cal" recipes here at Dixie Caviar. It's just that when I cook, I prefer to use whole ingredients as opposed to processed substitutions, like low-fat cheese or sugar-free sugar. (Ew. Seriously, who likes that stuff?) And then I try very, very hard not to consume the whole pan of food that I just made. That's a little tougher for me. Needless to say, Walt and I are trying to incorporate some healthier meals into our regular dinner rotation, which means lightening up where we can without losing any flavor. Cause y'all know I need my flavor... and my fat.
I thought I'd start out with hot wings, because they are a true "man-pleaser." It was only when I started dating Walt that I experienced my first Wing Ding, and I've attended many since. (Have you been to one? Do you even know what I am talking about!?) I always love watching the boys try to create the ultimate wing sauce by mixing crazy combinations of butter, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, spices, and whatever else they can get their hands on. The fun part is that you never eat the same wing twice. But in actuality, my favorite has -- and always will be -- the classic Butter-Frank's mix. No substitutions, either. Any other brand just won't do.
Let me just say, my new-and-improved version isn't going to make you skinny. But. And there is a but. They aren't going to make you fat, either. Why? Because they aren't fried, which has its own benefits. One being that there isn't hot oil dripping from your ceiling. Another being that they aren't fried... Also, I've cut the amount of butter to just enough as opposed to the whole stick. So there's that. And to guild the lily, I created a zesty little "lightened up" Ranch dip that I find quite tasty. In fact, I couldn't quit eating it straight from the spoon. Oops, gotta work on that.
Okay, back to the wings. Oh my goodness they are quite delicious. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside delicious. Like, I ate most of them standing-in-the-kitchen-before-I could-get-a-plate-delicious. I actually declared them "better than fried" to which I received a strange glare from Walt. Well, perhaps not better than fried. But I guess it just depends on who you ask...
Source: Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 2 - 4
12 whole chicken wings, separated (tips discarded)
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Fill a large stockpot with steamer insert with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium. Place wings into the steamer insert, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the insert and pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Discard paper towels and cover half sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray evenly with cooking spray. Lay out wings and cook for 25 minutes. Flip the wings and cook for another 20 minutes, until skin is golden brown.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in the microwave or over the stove top. Add the Frank's hot sauce and mix until well combined. In a large bowl, toss half of the sauce with the cooked wings until thoroughly coated. Serve the wings immediately alongside the remaining Frank's mixture, assorted hot sauces, and "lightened up" ranch dip.
To reheat wings, bake uncovered at 425 degrees until hot. Toss in additional butter-Frank's mixture.
RANCH DIPPING SAUCE
Yields 3/4 cup
1/2 cup 2% or whole plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon minced flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon minced chives
Splash of cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mix all of the ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.