Dinner in Under an Hour | Spicy Wings (and things)

Chicken wings may be America's favorite bar food, but that doesn't mean you have to head to your local pub whenever you have a yen for them. You can easily make them at home--with much better results.

I love chicken wings because they give you the most succulent meat on the bird along with lots of crisp skin. They're simple to prepare: my version requires only splashes of hot pepper sauce and balsamic vinegar for tangy heat. These are also less caloric than Buffalo wings because they are baked instead of fried. 

I like to make the accompanying Caesar salad with the traditional romaine lettuce as well as with arugula, which adds a peppery bite to the salad. Instead of the standard garlic croutons, I toss toasted walnuts into the salad and serve it with hot, buttery garlic bread. This garlic bread is baked in a paper bag, which might sound odd, but the paper absorbs the moisture created in the bag and produces a dry heat that yields an extra-crisp crust and a hot, moist center. Use the brown or white paper bag that the loaf comes in (but only if it is unwaxed), or substitute one of the narrow, brown-paper bags found at liquor stores.

PUBLISHED June 1995

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