Once upon a time (in my life), chicken wings were the cheapest part of the chicken. Few people seemed to be interested in using them for purposes other than chicken stock, until the "chicken wing" craze hit.
Wikipedia claims that "Buffalo Chicken Wings were invented" at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Around here on the Niagara Peninsula going to Buffalo for wings was "a thing" done with some frequency.
Visit Wikipedia to read more about the various origin claims. One is that Frank's Red Hot sauce was used in the original spicy recipe, and that the wings were popular with Catholic patrons as a midnight snack - once their "no meat Friday" ended.
Wiki goes on to trace the growing popularity of wings in the subsequent decades, and now a Google search on chicken wing recipes garners almost 9 million results!
I no longer find that chicken wings is the most economical meal I can make, but they can be so tasty and - admit it - they're fun to eat. I have three "go to" recipes and here's one - from Canadian Living 2005.
- plan for chicken to be marinating for about 4 hours (or more)
- prepare rack and bake sheet
- mix marinade
3 lbs chicken "wings"
My grocer sells the wings split into drumettes and wingettes. I buy a large tray without paying too much attention to weight. This recipe is supposed to serve 4, but without any side dishes, 2 hungry folks might polish it all off!
6 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 TB grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
The original recipe invites you to mince the garlic on a board with a chef's knife. I have seen chefs do that - but I do not have that fancy pants move in my repertoire. I use a garlic press and then go to the next step of mashing that together with the salt.
Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Add the chicken and coat well with the marinade.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 24 hours). Truth - I have sometimes marinated it for less than 4 hours...
Arrange the chicken on a a rack over a foil-lined baking pan. Bake in 400 F oven, turning once, for about 30 - 40 minutes. If you want the wings to be more brown / crispy, broil 2-3 minutes per side.