With no expectation that I'd get a real answer, I asked our host how they made them. Surprisingly, she told me every step they used. I'm sure she thought "no idiot is going to spend 12 hours and do all those steps at home". Well gentlemen I am that idiot.
Taking good advantage of my favorite KCBS membership perk, I headed to Restaurant Depot to see what was on offer. Used to coughing up $3 a pound at my local Food Lion for scrawny wings, I was startled to find Super Jumbo party wings for $2 a pound. Suffice it to say I bought a 40 lb box right on the spot and I did not regret it at all.
The complete process from Smoke BBQ, after I've tweaked and adjusted for my own timings, is:
- Brine wings in water with kosher salt and sugar for 3 hours
- Dry and arrange wings on cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack. Sprinkle both sides of wings with a dusting of Plowboys Yardbird or other chicken friendly rub. Place uncovered in fridge for 8 hours.
- Transfer wings to foil pan with 1/2 stick butter and place on smoker at 275-300 for 45 minutes.
- Confit (fry) chicken wings in a skillet with 1/2 inch of melted chicken fat*. -- Whenever chicken quarters go on special for $5 for 10 lbs, I buy em and cook them up for my dog and save the cups and cups of chicken fat for doing these wings.
- Dip wings in Head Country Habanero, Sweet Baby Ray's, or some other chicken-friendly sauce of your choice and grill for 10-15 minutes until sauce is set.