Along with the drought in California, we’ve had a mini heat wave this week. I live by the ocean and haven’t suffered as much as others who reside inland. Given that, it hasn’t been a time for cooking indoors. I was driving home from a day of business meetings and was in need of a simple dinner. There was traffic and my mind wandered to Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby’s new book, The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes. I received a copy not long ago when the temps were on the chilly side and had paged through the book, fantasizing about grilling season.
Chris and John are grilling masters and have collaborated on nine cookbooks. The subtitle of their book seemed to scream at me while I was driving (now you know the function of a subtitle!). I wanted unfussy food that was also fun and indulgent too. This is my husband’s last week of lecturing and yesterday was his last session with an oddly apathetic group of students. He needed a mini party.
I decided on chicken wings, in particular, grilled ones that Schlesinger and Willoughby promised would have yowza flavor. There’s been discussion on Serious Eats about making non-fried chicken wings that taste kind of fried. I was game but for a simpler approach. I figured that I’d initially cook the wings over direct heat then turn off one of burners to settle into indirect heat grilling, which allows the fat to render a bit and crisp up the skin a bit.
At Whole Foods, you can buy “party wings” which are just the meatier two joints of the wing. The name of the cut was apropos for my husband’s end-of-the-semester situation. I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us.