Ahhhh….foootball season!! What a great time of year! For some, it marks the beginning of fall and cold weather, a time to put away the grill and head inside and get out of the elements. For others, its even more reason to fire up the grill and open a cold one. As for me, I fall in the second group. Not to mention it’s gonna hit 100+ today and I live in Texas where it’s grilling season pretty much year round….at least at our house it is.
So to kick off football season this year, my Baylor Bears will be taking on their oldest rival TCU. A rivalry that stretches way back in time to 1899, when TCU was located in Waco and was called Add-RanChristianUniversity(bet y’all Horned Frogs didn’t know that!). And what better way to kick off the football season then firing up the Big Green Egg and cookin’ some wings! I gotta admit that wings might be one of my favorite things to grill up. So much so that my lovely wife, Stacie, once said, “Wings are a 5th food group as far as my husband is concerned!” I really can’t argue with that, except maybe to say BBQ is the 5th food group.
Now I have a bunch of wing recipes and cooked them plenty of times before on the BGE, but this time I wanted to try something different. A) Because I like to experiment and b) about a month ago I bough Steve Raichlen’s newest book “Planet BBQ”, and have sadly only cooked one thing out of it. What a shame! Looking through the book, the Piri- Piri Chicken Wings had caught my eye and I remember thinking to myself, “Self, you are going to make those and they will be one of the first things out of that book you make and they will be great!” (Yes, I talk to myself a lot, and sometimes I even argue with myself but that’s another story) So that is what I have decided to grill for opening day.
Now, I’m not normally gonna share recipes that I get out of cookbooks (but I will post my own creations). Copyright infringement and lawsuits and all that nonsense (in case this site does become and I become famous….lol), but if I can Google it and find where the author has published it online, well then I figure its fair game. Right? Quick search and I turned up a few sites, so here’s a link to one of them.
Here’s the raws (minus the cilantro, which somehow we forgot to buy, but we picked up on a quick run to the store and added later).
Took a quick little taste of that and wooo wheee!! That’s got a little bit of kick to it. That Nando’s Hot Piri-piri sauce is not something to fool around with. Granted, I’ve had hotter….like Crazy Uncle Jester’s Angel Fire (with bhut jolokia peppers), but it still has a nice back of the throat burn. I’m sure a little time over direct heat will calm it down, but then again, they will me marinating in that sauce overnight. That marinade got thrown onto the wings in a zip-lock bag around 9PM Thursday night and they way I figure, they will be sitting there getting nice and happy till about 6PM Friday.
Now as to how I cooked them. I loaded up the Egg with Kroger brand lump charcoal along with some apple wood chips and a chunk or two of mesquite for a touch of smoky flavor. I have found that Kroger brand lump burns evenly, I have no problems maintaining temperatures, whether low or high, doesn’t produce a lot of smoke so I can pick my own choice of woods for flavor and best of all…..its the same lump as Big Green Egg and Royal Oak, just in a different bag and a whole lot cheaper. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
I lit the Egg and let it stabilize at 450 F. I set up the Egg for a direct cook, but then used my BGE grill extender, so that even though I was cooking directly over the flames, the grate was raised high enough that I would not have to worry about flare-ups from the fat dripping off my wings burning my wings into a charred inedible mess. Here’s a pic of that set up.
I find when you are grilling, its always good to have something to do to keep you occupied, whether its friends and family, a good book, a simple chore (you don’t want something too difficult that will distract you) or sometimes Man’s best friend.
Don’t get too distracted, though. Wings do have to be flipped and rotated, not to mention there are other things going on the Egg. Some nice corn and some sausage with cheese.