I remember earlier in my career when I was studying logistics and supply chain management I visited a meat packing operation in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a roasting hot day outside and walking into the refrigerated environment initially proved to be a welcome and refreshing change although after a while I started to get cold and started to admire that guys who worked in this refrigerated environment day in day out.
The other shock that I got that day was when our tour guide explained what happened during the processing and packing of the chicken. To my surprise, whole chickens arrived yet when packed up the breast meat had been segregated from the wings and the legs. I asked my guide why this was and he explained that the breast meat was destined for mainland America but the legs and wings were to be air freighted to Eastern Europe because “Americans don't like to prepare meat with bones”.
To be fair I didn't question him any further to understand whether this statement referred to domestic preparation or the restaurant trade and that's probably because I was so taken aback. For me, the best bit of a chicken is the leg or the wing and the boring bit is the breast meat. OK, I know that there's some great things that you can do with a chicken breast and it doesn't have to be tasteless and dry but that's my feeling.
Chicken wings in particular are fantastic for flavor and I guess that this is because of the fat content, you can't get away from it, fat is flavor. There's an abundance of skin which if salted crisps up nicely on the grill and the fat content ensures a moist finish and meat that parts from the bone really easily and is still supremely succulent.
If you're not familiar with how to prepare a chicken wing and want to give it a try then allow me to explain.
The wing is in three parts and will have been cut where it is jointed to the body. At the other end is the wing tip and this needs to be removed. There's little meat on this part of the wing and particularly when grilling I find that this tip just gets in the way making cooking of the other parts of the wing that bit more difficult Take a heavy sharp knife of a meat cleaver and remove the wing tip – I then put all of them into a stock pot and boil them up with some veggies.
So now we have the jointed wing remaining that need crispy skin and flavor. You can just go for the salt and pepper, it's the salt that draws out the moisture and crisps up the skin but I prefer to add a bit more spice in a rub. Whatever your mix, just sprinkle it liberally over the wings.
Grilling over direct heat is a great way to cook the wings, and it doesn't take long. Your grill needs to be medium hot and you're looking for a golden brown color to the skin which should take about 20 minutes with regular turning. Don't worry if you or rub start to blacken a little, the spices need to cook otherwise they will taste powdery in your mouth. Of course that doesn't burn everything, as I said before, golden brown is the name of the game, it's just that the blackened spices won't be any the worse and won't taste burned.
Wings have to be finger food so serve them up with other things that can easily be eaten this way, vegetable cruditées for example – and have some napkins on hand because things can get messy!
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Word Count Appx. : 615 | Article Views 452 Published 02-04-2011