Dry-Rub Grilled Chicken Wings You Need to Make this Weekend

Few things go better with football season than wings, and I’m a critic when it comes to chicken wings. They need to be crispy, and they need to be just a bit sweet with a kick of spice that’s not too overpowering.

But really, who should be eating that many wings every week? I mean you can, but you probably shouldn’t, or at least you’d feel better if you could fight the urge.

Enter grilled wings. Yes, grilled, not fried, and no sauce necessary. Before you gasp and report me to the wing-gods, just know that they’re THAT good that no sauce is necessary. I promise I wouldn’t steer you wrong when it comes to wings. I adapted this recipe from Food & Wine and from my dad’s very secretive dry rub for ribs (and by secretive, I mean we share the habit of not writing down or measuring anything). I chose this recipe for 2 reasons, 1 because I wanted something that would be a classic dry-rub, grilled wing you could have time and time again and everyone would like, and 2, because I had everything already in my pantry. 

If you’re planning a Sunday Funday, you’ll want to start this in the morning for a nice long brine time, because games start at 1pm, people.

Grilled Chicken WingsWhat you’ll need:
½  cup salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
3 pounds chicken wings (my grocery store sells “wingettes” ready-to-go)

¼  cup brown sugar
¼  cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
½  tablespoon dry sage
1 tablespoon dry mustard
½  tablespoon ground ginger

½ tablespoon garlic powder
½  tablespoon cayenne

To brine the wings:
Combine ingredients and about 2 quart of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 minutes until all sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. Because this can take look, I prefer to make this the night before so the temperature can come down. Before grilling the wings, you will want them to soak in the brine for about 3 hours. Come the morning, you can add your wings to the brine and keep in the fridge for 3 hours or until ready to cook.

Drain wings from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Toss wings with about half of the dry rub, saving the rest for your next batch! Grill over medium heat until charred, about 15 minutes on each side. If you have some bigger pieces, you will want to leave them on a little longer to ensure they are fully cooked through.

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