October 11, 2010
BAKED LEMON PEPPER WINGS
Do you think I contradict myself when I say, "I don't like chicken much but I sure love chicken wings!"? My husband always says, "where are we without our contradictions..." Surely I have to admit that if I rank order my meats 1-4 it would go in this particular order - fish, beef, pork then chicken. But, Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings is definitely on my top 10 favorites and more than likely the highest ranking chicken dish. Did I already say I.LOVE.CHICKEN.WINGS?
I discovered Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings when I lived in Atlanta. One of my co-workers told me about a hole in a wall that she goes to for wings. Of course I haven't been to Atlanta in at least 4 years so I don't know if the place is still open. It's called The Gourmet Cafe located just off of Cobb Parkway near Marietta Parkway exit on I-75. It's owned by a Korean lady and aside from wings, she sold sandwiches and some Korean and Chinese dishes. For about $6 I could get 10 wings with Fried Rice and a medium drink. For $8 I can get 20 wings.
What did I love about those wings? They had just the right tartness for me and you can definitely taste not only the lemon but also the ground pepper. I also love the right amount of saltiness that came with it and combined with the fried rice that it was served with oh it's the BOMB!!! I've been to places around Tampa and have done my fair share of finding the best Lemon Pepper wings. Heck, even at the ballpark in Nashville, TN I tried the wings but none of the Lemon Pepper Wings even compared close to Gourmet Cafe's version. Either thewings are overpowering with lemon to the point that you get tongue sores after eating 6 of them or there's no lemon taste at all. Needless to say, I'm still on a quest to find the best lemon pepper wings around here. In the meantime, I'll settle for mine by using McCormick's Lemon Pepper seasoning.
You could easily make this fried or baked. I chose the healthier version of baking them. However, with baking, you run the risk of drying out the meat especially with the tiny chicken drumettes. To solve this problem, I brined the wings for about an hour prior to cooking. You don't have to do this but, if you want to you basically just completely soak the wings in a mixture of water, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Cover and stick in the fridge for an hour. When you are ready to cook, just drain the water and follow the recipe.
Prep & Cook time: 45 minutes (+1 hour if you brine)
You will need: Cookie sheet and sheet rack
2 lbs drumettes
3 tbsp McCormick's Lemon Pepper seasoning
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray rack with non-stick spray and place on the cookie sheet. Wash and completely dry wings with paper towel. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle and toss with 2 tbsp of lemon pepper seasoning. Pour flour in a separate dish. Lightly dredge wings in flour and arrange on rack. Cook for 30 minutes total, turning halfway. Immediately transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle and toss with remaining Lemon Pepper seasoning. Serve.
Enjoy this SARAPLICIOUS! dish.