|Look how beautifully they're browing|
I don't know why cast-irons fry so well. My 1970's kitchen doesn't allow me to do much. I can't really saute, flambe, or bake. Pretty much I can fry and that I do well thanks to my cast iron skillet. I've tried the deep-fryer, I've tried parboiling and I've tried twice-frying. The two latter techniques were good but much too labor-intensive AND they did not achieve optimal results. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, the cast-iron and ONLY the cast iron creates that beautiful crispy caramelization on the skin. See pic below.
And it's so easy and simple. The only drawback is I can only do one batch (about ten wings) at a time. If I do more, the oil get too dirty and it doesn't come out as good.
So, here's my ten-year secret. Glaze those babies with your favorite hot sauce or ranch and you got some good eating.
* 8-10 chicken wings, partially frozen is ok. Optimal if they're fresh and cold from the refridgerator.
* Enough safflower oil to submerge the wings halfway
* Salt, Pepper, pinch of smoked paprika
1. Heat the oil in the cast iron skillet at about 300 degrees. Oil is ready when you throw water in it and it sizzles. Use enough oil to partially submerge the wings, but NOT cover it.
2. Gently place the wings in the oil. If you have a thermometer, the cold chicken will cool off the oil to about 200 degrees. Perfect! That's what you want. Let the wings cook while the oils warms up. It gives it the twice-cooked results without actually taking out the chicken and changing the temp of the oil.
3. Cook the wings, 5 minutes on each side, then give it a turn. Cook for 20 mins total or when the juice in the wings run clear. Place wings in a strainer and drain the excess oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to your liking.
If you want to give it an extra kick, here's the recipe for my dry rub and my hot sauce. But the wings are so good with just a little salt and pepper, it's all I need.
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tblsp all purpose flour
This rub is enough for 4 lbs of wings, so I'd make a batch, use some, and store the rest in the cupboards. You can sprinkle the dry rub after 15 mins of frying. Take the wings out, sprinkle the rub, raise the oil temp is need be and fry the wings for another 5 minutes. I don't recommend frying the chicken with the rub for longer than 10 minutes. Cayenne and flour gets burned.
1/2 cup butter, or you can even use the left-over chicken grease. Pretty sure that's what Hooters does, anyways. It tastes great.
1 cup hot sauce that's not too hot, such as Frank's (since Frank's is expensive, I make my own with 3/4 cup Tapatio, 1/8 cup vinegar, 1/8 cup BBQ sauce or use sugar to taste)
Mix together and pour over wings. Enjoy!