Super Bowl Sunday passed and the game is over. But oh man! What a game it was! Right?! Congratulations to the Eagles on their fantastic and well-deserved victory–their first championship since 1960! I spent my evening with some friends and a lot of food. Like, I’m going to be spending a lot of time at the gym this week! Anyways, last Friday, I told y’all that I was most looking forward to eating and cheating (on my diet) with some wings. But instead of making one of the amazing recipes I featured, I decided to add my own dish to the mix. So, I fired up the cast-iron skillet and made some Filipino BBQ Wings.
Wings are very special to me, because I love to eat them. And I’ve been missing them ever since I had to go on this low-fat diet again. But I decided to allow myself a cheat day on Super Bowl Sunday. Nothing too crazy, just a little taste, so that my stomach doesn’t completely implode again. So, I wanted to make something that I wanted to eat–a wing to satiate my wings craving altogether. When I was considering what kind of wings to make an idea came to mind. My mom makes the best Filipino barbecue ever. And it’s all because of her marinade. So, I decided to use that exact marinade to make wings. Well, that was the plan anyway.
First, let me say that the marinade centers on a really important and essential ingredient: Mama Sita’s barbecue sauce. Mama Sita’s is a great Filipino brand that has a line of fantastic sauces and spices. The barbecue sauce is a tad salty, mostly sweet, and a bit sour. So to play on those flavors, I added things that would complement and enhance the sweet and sour sauce. Again, that was the plan.
Another huge part of this marinade is one can of beer. My mom swears up and down that it makes it fuller and bolder in flavor. It was also the one ingredient that I didn’t buy for the marinade. The entire time I’ve lived in Austin, my roommates have always had at least one beer in the refrigerator. I just assumed it would be the same. Turns out the first time there was no beer in my house was the one time I needed beer to cook! So, I quickly had to make some adjustments.
I still added the Mama Sita’s barbecue–because non-negotiable. Instead of beer, I used red wine. We had a bottle of Merlot lying around so I grabbed it and poured a bit in. Red wine is great to cook with because it enhances the natural flavors and aroma of the dish. Merlot is a full-bodied wine with a strong plum flavor and a natural acidity. So I knew it would help enhance the sour notes in the Mama Sita’s. In addition to that, I added some pineapple juice and lemon juice for more soury-sweetness, some honey for sweetness, and ketchup for that rich BBQ taste. The wine turned out to be a Godsend. You could really taste all the notes of the Merlot and the way it perfectly played against the other flavors. But don’t be fooled. Mama Sita’s is still the star of this dish.
Marinades aside, these wings start off way before the sauce comes into play. Unlike my other wings recipe, this one is breaded. As soon as I announced that I would be bringing wings, my brother asked to make them breaded. I love breaded wings. They have a beautiful contrast in textures, and I’m all for that. So, of course I agreed. To achieve the breaded texture, I pulled from my fried chicken recipe. It was pretty much the same process. I let the chicken soak in a buttermilk bath for a while. Then I created the flour mixture using a variety of spices–not the same spices, but very close. Then I shook the chicken in a paper bag filled with the flour mixture. And just like that you have breading!
I heated up the cast iron skillet with oil. I cannot say enough about how much I love having a cast iron skillet. Thank you, mom and dad! I fried the outside until it achieved a perfect golden brown texture. To finish it off on the inside and crisp up the outside more, I baked it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. Now is when you make the marinade! Once the chicken is out of the oven, put it in a large bowl. Pour the marinade in and toss it around! Put those babies back on a foil-lined baking sheet with a baking rack. And bake them again for 5 minutes to turn the marinade into a beautiful glazed sauce.
These wings will be messy. They sauce will stick to your fingers as you eat them. The breading will be filled with flavor and deliciously textured. After you eat one, you will eat so many more. And the best part of all, it’s a Filipino-inspired dish. I created this recipe using one of my mom’s best recipes. I also wanted to make sure that the Filipino flavors came through, as I always do with my dishes. This Sunday, I ate a little more than a few of these. And while my stomach had some pangs and my guilt-ridden mind kept whispering go to the gym, it was well worth it. Life’s too short not to eat wings, especially when they’re Filipino.
Filipino BBQ Wings
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 lbs wings
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 12 oz Mama Sita's Barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Add the chicken to a large bowl. Pour in enough buttermilk to cover all the chicken. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
In a large bowl mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder. Pour the mixture into a paper bag. Add the chicken one-by-one, letting the excess buttermilk drain off. Shake the bag vigorously until all the chicken is coated in the flour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Grease a large foil-lined baking sheet with a baking rack. Set it aside.
Fry the chicken on all sides until crispy and golden brown--about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove to the baking rack, being careful not to crowd the chicken.
Once all the chicken is fried, bake it in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the inside is cooked through and the outside is crispy. Dry off the excess oil and place all the chicken in a large bowl. Raise the oven temp to 425 degrees.
In another large bowl mix the Mama Sita's sauce, ketchup, honey, red wine, lemon juice, pineapple juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix to combine. Pour the sauce over the chicken bowl and toss to coat.
Remove the chicken to the baking rack/sheet once again. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce glazes against the breading. Serve with blue cheese!