Happy Labor Day Weekend! For most of America, Labor Day is celebrated around a grill, enjoying the last official weekend of summer. Unfortunately, for those of us who are city dwellers, finding a grill can be somewhat of a challenge – and normally requires finding friends in the suburbs willing to host you for the day. This year, for the first time in I don’t remember how long, we decided not to participate in the mass exodus from the city, and have a little “stay-cation”.
Staying in the city on a holiday weekend can actually be incredibly relaxing. The typical fast paced, frenetic energy of the city is muted, and fellow city dwellers share an unspoken agreement that, for this short time, we are all just going to relax. I was able to enjoy shorter lines at the grocery, smaller crowds at the gym, and even come across a horse while walking our dog along the bridal path. In short, this weekend was near perfect. The only thing missing, a BBQ.
As is typical for holiday weekends, our local grocery was having a promotion on “family packs” for popular labor day weekend fare – and I got a fantastic deal on a family pack of chicken wings and drumsticks. My husband’s go-to favorite way to bake chicken wings, normally involves a gallon of Italian Dressing, or a vat of Frank’s Hot Sauce… yeah, SUPER paleo, right? Instead of indulging in the sugar and sodium packed marinades, we both decided to try a healthier way to make our wings. I wanted to come up with one version, that would mimic the Italian Dressing in a sweet and tangy way, and another that would give a nice kick, like the Franks.
Here are the two marinades we whipped up for our wings. The first was a Sweet and Tangy marinade, and the other was a Spicy Cayenne Rub. After marinating for an hour, and roasting for about 30 minutes, these came out perfectly crispy, and oh so delicious. I was partial to the Sweet and Tangy wings myself, but my husband demolished the Spicy Cayenne. Together, these wings made the perfect Labor Day meal, served with some refreshing guacamole and veggies. Enjoy!
- 1.5 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
- 5 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic (or one large clove minced)
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1.5 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp dried mined onion
- 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
- 2 tbsp melted ghee (you can substitute coconut oil if you are not allergic)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade (mix it up well).
- Place the chicken in a large zip-lock bag, and pour the marinade over it. Remove the air from the bag, and seal.
- Let marinate for at least 2 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the rub. Pour in the lemon juice and melted ghee and mix well (this will be a little thick).
- In a large zip-lock bag, place the chicken, and pour the marinade over it. Remove air and seal the bag.
- Let chicken marinate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line two baking sheets with tin foil. If you have a crisper mat, you can use this as well, but the wings will turn out just as good without. I used one tray for the Sweet and Tangy, and another tray for the Spicy Cayenne to keep the flavors distinct. Lay the wings in a single layer on each sheet, and place in the oven. Note: pour all of the marinades out on to the trays from the bag. The Sweet and Tangy wings will have a lot more liquid - that is ok! It adds to the flavor. Cook wings for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and flip all of the wings over. At this point, if there is extra liquid in either of the pans (there may be quite a bit in the Sweet and Tangy pan), drain this out. Put the wings back in the oven to cook for 10 more minutes.
- Remove wings from the oven, and serve hot with crudités and your favorite dip!