I have been experimenting to create this post of salt and vinegar wings for the past 2 months. When I was in Arizona this past winter, one of the major grocery stores offered a “wing” bar, like a salad or olive bar. Each day they had a variety of 6-8 different wings to choose from. It was so fun trying the wings with their different seasonings, spices and depth of heat. My absolute favorite though was the salt and vinegar wings, so I have been trying to recreate making them at home. I like the “puckery” sour of salt and vinegar chips, and these wings had a great vinegar flavor. Of the many recipes I tried making at home, maintaining the sour vinegar flavor was the hardest thing to do. I tried marinating, drizzling with vinegar and putting vinegar in a salt shaker and shaking it on before and after baking the wings. I even tried baking the vinegar. Yup, I boiled vinegar, water and baking soda and put it in a large rimmed pan and baked it in the oven until it was a powder. Of course my entire oven was covered with a fine white coating when I was done and the dried vinegar had a weird taste and definitely not what I was trying to create.
In my search for recipes I found two things. One, that Martha Stewart had a recipe for salt and vinegar seasoning mix for putting on homemade potato chips which takes 24 hours to make, and two, the restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings has Salt and Vinegar wings on their menu. So, continuing my quest for great wings, this past Saturday I started out going to a large grocery store that tries to “carry every brand of an item”. After looking in the various areas of seasonings, I had someone search their data base of over 60,000 stock keeping units to no avail. They did not carry any brand of salt and vinegar seasoning. By that time, I was not only hungry, but I was craving salt and vinegar wings. So, I decided to stop at a Buffalo Wild Wings and order a take out of their wings to compare them to what I had in Arizona. I also wondered if they sold their seasoning. The hostess was so accomodating. After explaining what I was doing and confessing I had never been to a Wild Wings before, while waiting for my order, she brought me a few french fries with their salt and vinegar seasoning on them. They were great! Also, they do sell their seasoning so besides the wings to go, I purchased a bottle of their seasoning. Their wings are deep fried and the flavor and the “puckeryness” is perfect!
Wanting to make a comparison, on Sunday I made Martha Stewart’s Salt and Vinegar Seasoning which calls for Malt Vinegar and needs 24 hours to evaporate. Monday night I divided the raw wings into two batches. Through all of my experimenting, I found that covering a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spraying a large cooling rack on both sides to place the wings on, saves a lot of clean up! One batch I sprinkled with the Wild Wings seasoning and the other with my (Martha’s) homemade salt and malt vinegar seasoning. They were baked for almost an hour and both were good. It seems to me though, that baking diminishes the flavor. Both the grocery store in Arizona and Wild Wings deep fry their wings and then add the powdered seasoning. I added the seasoning before baking as well as after to counteract that.
Well, I realize that this is a longer and different post than usual but I wanted to share my experience with you (and prevent you from going thru cleaning up a powdery white oven interior). I did not want to post a recipe that needed the chicken to be deep fried, but baked as I did with my Orange Chicken Wings. I have posted Martha Stewart’s Salt and Vinegar Seasoning recipe with my own instructions. I also included the timing on baking the wings in case you just purchase the great seasoning from Buffalo Wild Wings and use that instead. Hope you are enjoying the beginnings of summer!
- 6 Tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- ¼ cup malt vinegar
- Chicken Wings
- Mix the salt, cornstarch and malt vinegar in a small bowl until combined
- Pour mixture into a rimmed pan (jelly roll or 9X13)
- Set aside at room temperature, uncovered for 24 hours
- It will be dry and can be broken up and scraped out with a spatula
- Chop it up or grind it until it is a coarse consistency
- Cut chicken wings into 3 parts and discard the wing tips
- Season both sides of the wing parts and place on a rack over a rimmed baking pan
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 50-55 minutes, turning over half way through
- Re-season to taste while hot when they come out of the oven