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Who am I to tell you what the "perfect" baked chicken wing is? To be honest, I didn't eat chicken wings until I started dating my husband. Well, I shouldn't say dating...because wings are a horrible date food. I started eating wings when my then-boyfriend, now-husband, and I were in a deep, committed relationship. The kind of relationship where you can get sauce all over your face and rip crispy flesh from tiny chicken bones. It is probably what cemented our relationship. Whoa. Sorry for the tangent. But really, my husband loves chicken wings, so it takes a lot to impress him. The perfect baked chicken wings aren't about the sauce you use. We all have different flavor preferences and spice tolerances. No. It's about how you bake them (and how many times) to make sure they are nice and crispy. First, I lined the chicken wings on a rack (like a cooling rack you use for cookies), over a foil lined baking sheet. Then I seasoned the chicken wings with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and baked them at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Next, I tossed the baked wings in my favorite barbeque sauce and baked them in the oven for another 5 minutes. The final step might seem trivial, but I think that it makes all the difference in the wings. After they baked a second time, I coated them again in sauce then I threw them on the grill to caramelize the sauce ans get a little char on the wings. In the end, we had crispy, juicy, and flavorful wings that rivaled some of our favorite (fried) versions.


Total time

50 minutes


Ingredients

  • ¼ head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 3 strips bacon (chopped)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch collard greens, cleaned and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 4 oz whole wheat macaroni pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil ((divided))
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 3 tbsp pimentos (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp olive oil ((divided))
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp pepper


Method

  1. Bring a pot filled with about 2 cups of water to a boil. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender. Strain and let cool. Over medium heat, place bacon pieces in a pot or large sautee pan and cook until rendered and crispy. Add butter, greens, and a pinch of salt and pepper, the toss to coat greens in butter and bacon grease. Cover and cook over medium-low head until wilted and tender. Fill a large stock pot with about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to package directions, then strain and put aside. Place the cauliflower in a blender or food processor with milk and corn starch. Process until completely smooth. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add oil and garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes. Stir in oregano, paprika, and onion powder. Add in cauliflower mixture and cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Stir in pimentos. Add salt and pepper to taste. In the empty large stock pot, add in strained pasta, collard greens, and cheese sauce. Stir until pasta is completely coated. Transfer into a 8x8 square baking dish or cast iron skillet. In a small bowl, mix together almond meal, Parmesan, olive oil, paprika, and pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the mac and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes before serving.

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