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Parboiling chicken wings to make them extra crispy?

sweet100s Feb 2, 2008 05:18 PM

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. t
    Toadberry RE: sweet100s Feb 2, 2008 05:26 PM

    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
      sweet100s RE: Toadberry Feb 2, 2008 11:03 PM

      Did Alton say why he steamed intsead of just boiling?

      1. re: sweet100s
        goodhealthgourmet RE: sweet100s Feb 2, 2008 11:24 PM

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

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          Pylon RE: goodhealthgourmet Feb 3, 2008 07:04 AM


          I'll be trying out this method today.

          1. re: Pylon
            Pylon RE: Pylon Feb 3, 2008 05:31 PM

            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
          C. Hamster RE: sweet100s Feb 5, 2008 07:58 AM

          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
          NYCkaren RE: Toadberry Feb 4, 2008 12:00 PM

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

          1. re: NYCkaren
            Pylon RE: NYCkaren Feb 4, 2008 07:06 PM

            Which sauce did you use?

        4. TrishUntrapped RE: sweet100s Feb 2, 2008 06:22 PM

          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. soypower RE: sweet100s Feb 3, 2008 02:03 AM

            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. MB fka MB RE: sweet100s Feb 3, 2008 08:47 AM

              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: http://www.walkerswood.com/product_de....
              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
                C. Hamster RE: MB fka MB Feb 5, 2008 08:00 AM

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

                1. re: C. Hamster
                  MB fka MB RE: C. Hamster Feb 5, 2008 04:47 PM

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

              2. Homero RE: sweet100s Feb 4, 2008 10:56 AM

                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.

                1. s
                  Soup RE: sweet100s Feb 5, 2008 08:09 AM

                  In my chinese recipes the steaming of chicken is done before frying to get the skin really chrisp. They do state air drying before frying. I've done it a few time and it does make a wonderful skin.

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