BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe
Our version of this traditional bar snack goes heavy on the rich, smoky flavor and a little lighter on the tongue-burning spiciness. We let these wings sit for a good long while in our own special marinade and then coat them with a dry rub. The marinade and the dry rub saturate the chicken with a subtle blend of flavors and keep it super juicy and almost fall-apart tender. Our blue cheese dip is the perfect piquant accent to the smokiness of the wings, with just enough bite to stand up to the deep barbecue flavors. This starter is hearty enough to stand on its own when accompanied by a plate of cut vegetables. But be warned: try these little beauties just once, and you’ll never settle for plain old Buffalo chicken wings again.
Blue Cheese Dip
2 cups blue cheese crumbles, divided
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
¼ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup hot sauce
4 tablespoons Virgil’s Dry Rub (here) 4 tablespoons granulated garlic
4 tablespoons granulated onion
Juice of ½ lemon
8 large chicken wings
½ cup Virgil’s Dry Rub
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons white vinegar
¾ cup hot sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- To make the dip, combine 1 cup of the blue cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend on low until smooth.
- Remove to a medium mixing bowl and fold in the rest of the blue cheese, scallions, and celery, being sure to break up the larger blue cheese crumbles. Place in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place the wings in a large container with a lid and pour the mixture over the wings. Toss until the wings are thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
- Preheat the grill or smoker to 245°F.
- Spread out the wings on a sheet pan and wipe away any excess marinade. Sprinkle liberally with the dry rub, coating the wings all over.
- Position the wings on the grill away from the direct heat of the coals or burners, and add hickory to the smoker, or hickory chips on the coals or gas burners.
- Cook the wings for about 3 hours, flipping every 30 minutes (their internal temperature should be about 165°F when cooked).
- While the wings are cooking, cut the butter for the sauce into 1-inch cubes and refrigerate. Whisk the cornstarch into the white vinegar, in a small bowl.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, bring the hot sauce to a simmer and whisk in the thickened vinegar. Return to a simmer, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the heat.
- Add the cayenne and slowly whisk in the cold butter. Keep warm until serving.
- Remove the wings from the smoker or grill and put half of them into a bowl, cover with the sauce, and toss. Repeat with the remaining wings and serve on a platter, with the blue cheese dip on the side.