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Weekend Recipe: BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings

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Chicken wings are something of an American classic. But to get them restaurant-level delicious, you have to do something counterintuitive: overcook the chicken. America's Test Kitchen gets these wings super hot, the better to make them tender. (It's about cartilage. Let's not get into it here.) Enjoy!

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings
Makes 2 dozen wings

1/2 cup salt
2 pounds chicken wings, wingtips discarded
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Prick chicken wings all over with fork. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).

2. Combine cornstarch, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and sugar in bowl. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rinse and dry bowl. Transfer wings to now-empty bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch mixture, tossing until evenly coated.

3A. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter half filled with charcoal briquettes (3 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

3B. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-low. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature around 350 degrees.)

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Grill wings (covered if using gas), thicker skin side up, until browned on bottom, 12 to 15 minutes. Flip chicken and grill until skin is crisp and lightly charred and meat registers 180 degrees, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

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