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Feb 2, 2008 05:18 PM

Parboiling chicken wings to make them extra crispy?

What do you think of the parboiling technique described here:

The recipe references the technique as being "controversial". Anyone else do it here?

I'm thinking of trying that recipe on drumsticks also.

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  1. I was watching Alton Brown on Good Eats and the way he was making buffalo wings was that he steamed them first, then - after drying - baked them at pretty high heat 425 F.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Toadberry

      Did Alton say why he steamed intsead of just boiling?

      1. re: sweet100s

        i'd imagine steaming poses less of a risk of waterlogging the meat.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet


          I'll be trying out this method today.

          1. re: Pylon

            They are OK, but I didn't care for the sauce. (I made the orange glaze.) But the flavor of the wing itself and the texture were both good.

        2. re: sweet100s

          Boiling poultry makes the protein seize up and get rubbery. You should never boil it no matter what you're doing with it.

        3. re: Toadberry

          I made that Alton recipe last night. I loved it.

        4. I dunno. I have tried making wings different ways....and to tell the truth, this is how I do them now and they come out deliciously crispy.

          Bake them spread out on a rack so air gets underneath and grease from the skin drains onto the pan, in a hot 425 degree oven for a solid 20 minutes or until the wings are starting to look cooked and the skin is crispyish.

          Then take them out of the oven and dump all the grease out. Put the wings in a large bowl with whatever sauce you are coating them in and cover the bowl and shake them. Let them set and steam while cleaning the pan. Put the wings back on the rack (individually coated with the sauce) and bake again at 425 degrees until the coating starts to blacken in spots and the wings are sizzling (about 15-20 more minutes),

          Good wings this way.

          1. i believe the parboiling done in this recipe is meant to keep the wings juicy...kind of like parboiling ribs before barbecuing or baking them. steaming the wings first is an interesting idea...but i find the real secret to super extra crispy skin is to find a way to dry out the chicken before cooking. peking duck is often made by pouring boiling water over the duck while it is hanging so that it parcooks the skin but then runs off the duck so that it can dry out. i suppose one could do the same kind of thing w/ chicken wings on a rack....hmmm...i'll have to do some experimenting!

            1. I swear by the parboiling to make the absolute best crunchy outside, juicy inside chicken wings. IIRC I picked this tip up from a friend who was a fantastic southern cook. I use this to make rockin' good jerk chicken wings - people rave and it's a no-brainer.

              Parboil the wings, let them cool then rub them with jerk seasoning. Buy the "walkerswood" brand:
              Best to let them season overnight. Crisp them up on the grill and serve them with wedges of Jamaican hard-dough bread (to cool the heat). ou can bake them, but the texture is far better on the grill.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MB fka MB

                If the wings are not fully cooked via "parboiling" what you describe is a good way to get food poisoning.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  you're right. really what I mean is pre cook rather than par boil.

              2. I wonder if the crispy skin roasted chicken recipe in the latest Cook's Illustrated would transfer well over to buffalo wings. Its the one that calls for baking powder in the salt rub.