This past weekend with the success of the barbecue sauce I decided that just a little spiciness in the sauce would increase its deliciousness exponentially. Also, having managed to track down some actual buttermilk, I wanted to give the true brine recipe a try (Kittencal’s Buttermilk Poultry Brine).
What light buttermilk may look like
So, the night before I pulled the wings out to thaw grabbed the ingredients:
- 4 quarts light buttermilk (only version i could find).
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (i pureed this, cause why not)
- 8 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 8 tablespoons kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons sugar (i used brown sugar)
- 4 teaspoon cumin
- 8 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (why not)
First I poured one quart of buttermilk into a large bowl this would be my mixing base, allowing all the ingredients to be stirred and dissolve properly.
I poured in the garlic, salt and sugar. Then, with a whisk, i stirred it up well, making sure that the salt and sugar were properly dissolved.
The finely chopped onion then went into the blender to puree. I have spoken previously on the ideas i have about pureeing vegetables when they are to go into sauce, i believe that it allows the flavor to be evenly spread throughout. Especially in this case when it will not be cooked.
After the onion, in went the least soluble ingredients, the pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper. I stirred those in as thoroughly as i could.
Once all the ingredients were mixed, I poured the remaining quarts of buttermilk into a large tin pan.
This is the typcial pan i use for my brines
Then, slowly added the mixture to the plain buttermilk, stirring as i went to ensure that it was properly mixed.
At this point the wings had been thawing for a period and were almost unfrozen. I plopped them in, coating each one and not allowing any to poke above the surface of the brine (this is why i used 4 quarts). I covered the pan with a layer of tinfoil and into the fridge it went. The remaining frozen wings would thaw in the brine.
The next day, around 3pm I got to working on my sauce. This would be a standard barbecue sauce with a spicy side to it. I also was advised by my taste testers to add a bit of honey, so that there would be a high sweet flavor to compliment the low molasses flavor.
More donated peppers, not drying these.
Thanks to the large contributions of peppers from my fans, I had plenty of peppers to play with:
Fan donated dried peppers and my reflection.
So, i rounded up my ingredients, I doubled my recipe because I was doing a larger batch:
- 4-5 cups of Distilled White Vinegar
- 4 cans of tomato paste 6oz
- 2 jar of Molasses 12 oz
- 2-3 cups liquid smoke to taste
- 6 tablespoons black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 lb of alfalfa honey
- 2 tablespoons of ground, dried jalapeno peppers
These are some of the ingredients i use in my bbq sauce, plus honey
First, I mix the vinegar and the tomato paste until i get a nice ketchupy mixture. I then poured in the molasses and the honey, tasting as i went so i didn’t over sweeten. Usually i at least pretend i am not going to use all of the molasses, but i end up doing it anyway.
Step two, i added the liquid smoke into the sweet ketchup. You have to be careful when adding this, it is very easy to get over zealous and end up too smokey. This flavor is good when used in the right amount. But if you add too much it is overwhelming of everything else in the sauce.
Adding the black and cayenne pepper last, i stirred as i went to make sure it gets all through the sauce. The pepper should add a nice bite to the aftertaste of the sauce and the cayenne will give it a little heat.
Then, finally, i added 2 tablespoons of dried ground jalapeno.
I dried these by hanging them above my window. Then ground them up in a coffee grinder.
I chose jalapeno peppers specifically for the taste. They have an almost black pepper flavor when dried and add to the smokiness of the sauce. I tasted as i went so i didnt over spice.
Actually, i DID end up over spicing the sauce by deciding to add some of that god forsaken Da’ Bomb hot sauce from previous recipes. I then had to run out to the store and get more ingredients and make the sauce all over again. Don’t use super hot sauce unless you want to make your food practically unedible. One day i may understand the desire for an ultra hot sauce, but today is not that day. I threw out the bottle so i wouldnt make the mistake again.
After all the ingredients were fully mixed and tasty i put them in a pot on the stove to allow the pepper flavor to grow just a bit.
Cooking the sauce to even out the flavor.
While on medium heat i stirred the sauce constantly with a wooden spoon until it starts steaming. This caused the pepper flavor to bolden and when the sauce cooled it thickened up a bit thanks to the molasses I added.
With the sauce done, it was time to cook the wings. So I pulled out my fryer and using fresh oil did them in batches. As they came out of the fryer i plopped them into the sauce allowing the flavor to immediately seep into the chicken.
The brine made the chicken quite tender, but i think it didn’t quite have all the flavor of the batch with cream. I may do a side by side brine to compare the flavors in the future.
The wings all cooked and ready to be served i put them into the oven until my test audience arrived. I know that baking the wings in this sauce last time made it very thick and much like a good rib sauce, i was hoping for the same effect.
These wings came out very good. Lots of the sweet barbecue flavor with a nice peppery back to them. Although i noted that without a certain amount of spice it is difficult for me to eat as many, the sweet taste devours my taste buds and makes it hard to just keep eating like i want to.
It was suggested that i retire this recipe as a success and move on to other flavors. But, i think the goal of this venture is to perfect a recipe. I want to make it so that every time anyone who eats my wings goes out and eats someone else’s, they are thinking of mine. I want to induce wing loyalty, and i will get there.
However, in the interest of variation and to reset our taste buds, i believe some wing tourism is in order. So, next week we will have a guest poster who will have at the teriyaki sauce.
In the coming weeks i will make it a point to travel around and sample wings from various places in the area. One i plan to hit is Buffalo Wild Wings which is famed for their wings varieties. I’ll be reviewing these wings and more, stay tuned.