Before I begin, give me a moment to wipe the drool from my mouth as I think of the delicious wings from my two favorite chains…..o.k. all done. My husband and I were craving wings yesterday and this morning made plans to order wings today from one of our favorite locations. I mean I was so close to ordering that I could feel the salivary amylase (sorry, it’s the science nerd in me) begin preparation to do their work. Before we made the call or should I say before we sat at the computer, I reminded my husband that we had only about $30 remaining in our monthly budget for eating out. He then opened the freezer and pulled out the frozen chicken bites he purchased at Target last night on clearance for approximately $2.50. Now we had done this before so we read each other’s minds and I preheated the oven and grabbed some sauces.
That’s right, instead of spending over $20 on wings, we gained some momentary (and yes it is only momentary) self control and made do with what we already had at home. Depending on how creative you are and what you have at home, making your own wings is going to be significantly cheaper and possibly better.
For some quick options for the trickier flavors, use store bought sauces or dips. Today I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce (most likely under $3 or I would not have bought it, but don’t quote me) and they tasted exactly like the Asian wings offered by the wing stores. I have also used Trader Joe’s BBQ sauce, which is my favorite BBQ sauce. For an easy hot wing, just mix your favorite brand of hot sauce and melted butter. Next put the wings in a bowl while still hot and toss with your favorite sauce and bam, there you have your wings that you are craving.
If you have more time and patience, I like to toss them in sauce, throw them back in the oven for like 10 minutes, take them out and toss them in the sauce again. You can also do more elaborate flavors if you have more time. I made a version of the Parmesan wings by melting butter and tossing the wings with the butter then adding grated Parmesan (not shredded) and tossing again. Honestly, there isn’t a flavor offered at the restaurant that you can’t try at home. Make sure you toss and fully coat the wings, otherwise you won’t get the same effect as the restaurants.
It could also be a cool and fun family dinner night when the kids can pick their flavors and make it themselves. The other key trick is to buy good frozen wings (note: I am referring to boneless only). Not all are created equal. So get to mixing and enjoy the delicious flavors and the tremendous savings! Don’t forget, you don’t even have to leave you house.