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Chicken Wings with Bacon Barbecue Sauce

This recipe combines two wonderful things, bacon jam and barbecue sauce. This is a versatile recipe that can be used on a variety of smoked or barbecue meats. Lager beer is the common accompaniment, but try pairing these wings with a robust porter; the slightly burnt, smoky notes from the malts brings an extra level of flavor to the bacon and chipotle.

Makes 12 wings and plenty of leftover sauce

Ingredients

1 cup roughly chopped Applewood-smoked bacon

12 large chicken wings

2 tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup robust porter like Founder’s porter or Sierra Nevada Porter

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cups beef broth

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon pureed chipotle  in adobo

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon  garlic powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bacon in a heavy skillet and cook in the oven until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the fat in the skillet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and move skillet to the stovetop.
  2. Toss the chicken wings in the olive oil, arrange them on a baking sheet, and bake for one hour, or until crisp and cooked through.
  3. Add the onion to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful handling the skillet, it will still be hot from the oven.
  4. Add brown sugar to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until  it dissolves.  Add the beer, scrapping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any brown bits. Stir in the butter and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
  5. After beer has reduced, add the broth to the skillet and reduce until the jam is thick, stirring occasionally and be careful not to burn it, 10 to 20 minutes.
  6. Add the Worcestershire, chipotle, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder to the skillet and stir to fully incorporate.
  7. Transfer the sauce and bacon to a blender, let cool for 8 to 10 minutes, and puree until smooth. Remove the chicken wings from the oven, place in a large bowl, and pour in enough sauce to liberally coat the chicken. Serve immediately.

Note:  This recipe yields a bit of extra sauce. Leftovers sauce is great on burgers, with other grilled meats, or as a dip for bread. Or simply make a double batch of wings.

 

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