Really Good Dry Rub Wings

Flats or drums?

I’ve thought a lot about this (can you tell?) because every time someone asks me that question, I answer, “flats.” And they always clap back with, “but it has less meat!” And somehow they think they’ve won an argument. Then I get annoyed because it isn’t an argument to begin with. It’s personal preference.

Then one day, it hit me. I prefer the flat pieces because it doesn’t have a lot of meat. Isn’t that the whole point of a chicken wing? If I wanted to eat more meat, I would then opt for a full piece of chicken leg or thigh rather than the wing. With the flat wings, the taste & texture of the chicken skin is what I crave more than the meat.

At the end of the day, I’m glad we each have our own preferences – people who are pro-drums and people who are pro-flats. Can you imagine serving wings at a party? It would not be fun if everyone was fighting to get the same piece.

(…just don’t ever ask me if boneless wings are better than bone-in wings. I won’t answer your question.)

Today, I’m going to share my ultimate favorite wing recipe… EVER. This is waaaay easier and require less thinking than the Honey Sriracha Wings, which is already a simple recipe. All you have to do is toss the wings with a homemade dry rub and throw it in the oven for 45-50 minutes and you’ll have some crispy wings.

As far as dipping sauces, that is entirely up to you. I personally dip mine in ranch (secret: I go to Wingstop just to buy their ranch and take it home to dip my wings into), but I know people like blue cheese or Gorgonzola cheese dips as well. I also eat these with celery to make myself feel a little better.

Alright, enough ranting. Here’s the recipe.

Dry Rub Wings

DRY RUB INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 tablespoon kosher salt (if you’re using regular salt, reduce this amount to 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile pepper powder (this is not spicy, it gives more of a sweet/smokey flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more to make it spicer, but it isn’t spicy as is)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

(You won’t use all of this, and that’s fine. Save the rest in an airtight food container. This makes it easy for you because you don’t have to cut the recipe in half if you only want to make 2 pounds of wings since the dry-rub won’t expire until after a while)

WING INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lbs chicken wings (thaw completely if frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Oven-safe wire rack, optional (I like using this because the oil drips down rather than the wings sitting on it after you pull it out of the oven. Regardless, you’ll have crispy wings whether or not you use this).

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  • Line a large baking sheet with 2 sheets of aluminum foil (I usually
    • If you’re using a wire rack, spray the wire rack with non-stick cooking spray.
    • If you’re NOT using a wire rack, you still have to spray the foil generously with non-stick cooking spray or oil or else the chicken skin will stick to the foil.
  • Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add chicken wings. Add the vegetable oil. Use your hands to rub it!
  • Sprinkle in about half of the dry rub mixture and use your hands to massage it into all of the chicken wings, coating evenly. If you don’t want to use your hands, use a rubber spatula or put on some food prep gloves.
  • Add chicken wings to prepared baking sheet (skin side up for the flats!). Sprinkle the top of the wings with a little bit more of the dry rub.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool for maybe 5-10 minutes before eating.

Grilled Corn Salad with Spicy Honey-Lime Dressing

You may ask, “Did the world freeze over? Is Donna really about to post a SALAD recipe?” The answer is yes, I am going to post a salad recipe.

If you know me, you know that I am anti-salad. Okay. Those are strong words. I like salad, but I really don’t like preparing salad at home. I end up with way too much greens that I cannot consume fast enough before they wilt and turn brown.

But this recipe is 98% GRILED corn, so I’m going to devour it all of it. The dressing is delicious, and it has THE most simple ingredients (no mayo, I promise!).

Don’t get turned off by “grilled”. You don’t need an actual grill to make this. As long as you have an oven, foil, and a baking sheet, you’ll be making this everyday.

Fun Fact: I’m actually allergic to corn amongst other weird food items. Fortunately, none of my allergies are life-threatening. If I eat too much of food I’m allergic to, I’ll start getting hives on my chest, but nothing uncontrollable. For the most part, it’s worth the itch.

Let’s start cooking:

INGREDIENTS

For the corn

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 cobs of corn, peeled

For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (reduce the amount if you don’t like spicy dressings)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the rest of the salad

  • 2 avocados, sliced about 3/4″ thick (see note)
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

EQUIPMENT

  • Baking sheet
  • A lot of foil
  • Hand held citrus juicer, optional

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a small bowl, cream together the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slather the butter mixture all over the corn. This is my favorite thing to do.
  • Wrap each corn in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up.
  • Roast for 40 minutes, turn HALFWAY.
  • While waiting for the corn to roast, prep the dressing. Whisk lime juice, honey, sriracha, garlic powder, and salt. Taste it to see if it’s to your liking, if not, adjust with adding more of what you think it needs. (Is it too spicy? Add more honey. Not spicy enough? Add more Sriracha).
  • When done roasting, take out the corn and open the foil on top to expose the corn. Turn the oven to broil (on high) and place the corn back in. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Pro Tip: When you are broiling anything to get a charred or grilled appearance, make sure you do not peel your eyes off your food (just like you would watch if it was Chris Hemsworth working out his upper body shirtless… just make sure you wipe your drool) because your food will go from charred to charcoal within seconds.
  • When done broiling, take out the corn and let it cool a bit, then cut the kernels from the cob and place in a large bowl.
  • Add avocados, Serrano peppers, cilantro leaves, and dressing to the corn. Toss to combine. Season with more salt & pepper, to taste.
  • Cover with a plastic wrap, making sure you press in direct contact with the salad to prevent avocados from turning brown. Chill at least 2 hours before eating.

NOTE

  • The citrus dressing is going to prevent the avocados from turning brown really quick, but if I’m going to eat the leftovers the next day, I only like to slice 1 avocado at a time to make sure it’s as fresh as possible.

Honey Sriracha Wings

It’s good to be back!!

I apologize for my lack of posts in the month of June – it’s been a hectic month! Long story short, I spent most of my June in the east coast. I traveled to Atlanta for a business trip, returned home for a couple days, started my vacation by flying out to Providence to visit friends, took a train down to Newark and another train all the way down to Brick, NJ, went to NYC for a day (I ATE SO MUCH FOOD), then back to Jersey Shore for a family reunion, and now I’m finally back home.

Today’s post is special because these Honey Sriracha Wings are my #1 DEMANDED dish to make from friends, family, and my husband. I have friends who don’t typically enjoy wings, but love this recipe! My mom who usually doesn’t like spicy food also asks me to make this on special occasions. It’s sweet, spicy, and tangy all at the same time. It’s super easy to make and the best part is that it’s not fried, it’s baked!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

This recipe is adapted from Damn Delicious. I started out originally making it exactly like the recipe, but the more I made it, the more I ended up tweaking the recipe & instructions to get the exact sauce consistency and crispiness I prefer.

Enough talking, let’s get into it:

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

HONEY SRIRACHA WINGS

INGREDIENTS

For the Wings:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime

For Garnish, optional:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Chopped cilantro

EQUIPMENT

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Handheld citrus juicer, optional
  • Oven-proof wire rack, optional but HIGHLY recommended
  • Basting brush

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven-proof wire rack over the foil. Pro Tip: spray or brush the wire rack with vegetable or olive oil to prevent the wings from sticking to it when baking.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine wings, melted butter, vegetable oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper, to taste. Pro Tip: use your hands!
  • Place the wings on top of the oven-proof wire rack and bake for 15-18 minutes. Then, use metal tongs to turn the wings over and bake for another 15-18 minutes.
  • While waiting for the wings to bake, we’re going to make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until slightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in honey, sriracha, soy sauce, and lime juice. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
  • When the wings are done cooking, pull them out of the oven and set oven to broil. Meanwhile, brush the wings with the sauce on both sides and put the wings back in the oven for another 3-4 minutes, or until it’s charred to your liking.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, if you like.

NOTES

  • Although not required, I HIGHLY recommend to use an oven-proof fire rack because all the fat & grease from the chicken will drain into the foil and won’t mix into your sauce. It also makes the wings crispier.
  • If I’m making this for appetizer, I’ll eat it by itself. However, it goes well with white rice when I want something more filling for dinner.

Enjoy!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Bruschetta

For my first recipe post, I decided to go with this simple tomato, mozzarella and basil bruschetta with balsamic vinaigrette.

I know bruschetta has been around for ages, but I never bothered with it or ordered it from a restaurant before because well ummmm I don’t believe in paying $10 for a small piece of toast with cheese on top. Luckily for me, bruschetta was part of an appetizer course during a company happy hour and after I took my first bite, I finally know why it costs $10. They were the most delightful little bites.

I still refuse to pay $10 for them though.

I went home dreaming about them and when I woke up, I googled a ton of recipes for a tomato, mozzarella, and basil bruschetta. However, I didn’t find THE perfect recipe so just like most of my cooking, I merged a bunch of ingredients here and there and came up with my own recipe for it. It was delicious… and it’s super easy to make!

My husband (who doesn’t typically enjoy appetizer-type foods) loved it. My brother who hates any food that contains tomatoes or any green leaves (aka all vegetables) also loved it. Since then, I’ve been making these little bites for family dinners, watch parties, and just whenever the hell I feel like it.

These are great snacks for when you’re a bit hungry, but don’t want to ruin lunch or when you’re really hungry and want to eat 50 of something without feeling bad about yourself.

My favorite thing about this recipe (and cooking in general) is that you can totally adjust the taste to your preference. If you don’t like too much garlic, then remove a clove. If you don’t like too much balsamic, then reduce the amount, etc. If you don’t like tomatoes, then you probably shouldn’t make this recipe.

Here’s how to make it:

Serving: makes about 8-10 bruschetta, good for 2-3 people, double or triple it if you’re feeding more

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing baguette slices
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • French baguette, cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

EQUIPMENT

  • teeny tiny food processor (optional, you don’t need this if you can finely chop and dice the garlic & basil leaves by hand)
  • knife
  • baking sheet
  • basting brush (I use a silicone one)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Top each slice with mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes to 15 minutes or until bread and cheese are slightly browning.
  3. While impatiently waiting for the baguette in the oven, mince garlic cloves in a food processor, about 30 seconds. Add in the basil leaves and process for about another 20 seconds, or until leaves are finely chopped. (If you don’t have a food processor, no prob, just do it by hand).
  4. Transfer the garlic and basil in a small bowl. Combine with 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  5. Once the baguettes are done, remove from oven and top each slice with the tomato mixture.
  6. Serve immediately.

NOTES

  • I love garlic so I use 3 of the bigger ones and if they’re tiny, I’ll use about 4, adjust to your own preference.
  • In other recipes, I’ll substitute fresh garlic with the pre-minced garlic from jars, but NOT for this recipe. I prefer fresh garlic.
  • The type of balsamic vinegar you use matters – don’t buy the cheapest one you see, but don’t get the most expensive one either. My fav one is Monari Federzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
  • ALWAYS use FRESHLY cracked black pepper. It makes all the difference
  • Sometimes, the tomatoes are too juicy and will make the mixture sit on too much liquid – drain it.