Thursday, February 4, 2010


It's time for another Throwdown here at Stirring the Pot. About a week ago, I put up a poll where readers could vote on the next Throwdown and........... chicken wings won out! Never having made chicken wings before, I had a fun time choosing the two competing recipes. I wanted to compare cooking techniques for the wings, so I kept the wing flavor the same. I didn't want to be confused by which flavor I liked best, I wanted to pick the wing that was simply "cooked the best".

I chose Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings, which are steamed in order to melt away some of the fat in the chicken skin, baked until crisp, and then rolled around in a garlicky buffalo sauce. I compared Alton's recipe with Paula Deen's Uncle Bubba's Wings, which are marinated for 24 hours, deep fried, and served with two dipping sauces (buffalo and sweet asian chili).

Results/Notes on Alton Brown's Wings: Somewhat of a hassle. I don't have a steamer, so I had to use my metal strainer over a pot of boiling/simmering water. After steaming the wings, they are placed in the refrigerator for an hour to "dry out". After the wings have had a chance to dry out, they are baked, being rotated halfway through and coated in sauce. I felt like this was a lot of work for 12 chicken wings. (Pictured below are Alton's wings)Results/Notes on Uncle Bubba's Wings: Marinate 24 hours in a combination of hot sauce, cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. When ready to eat, simply fry them for 10 minutes and you are all set. Simple and easy, the way I like things. (Pictured below are Uncle Bubba's wings)
Sounds like I'm already biased, doesn't it? Which wing do you think you would prefer? I thought I had it all figured out before I even tasted one.........
But I was pleasantly surprised! Alton Brown's steamed and baked wings were actually our favorite. It was a unanimous decision between me and my husband.


Well, Uncle Bubba's wings were easy and quickly deep fried, but they were a little too crunchy. Maybe this was because they were "dry" and not tossed with any sauce. I thought that I would like dunking the wings in sauce, but it turns out that it isn't very easy to do. Both my husband and I agreed that we like our wings to be messy and coated in sauce. Nonetheless, this was still a good wing recipe and had great flavor and color from the marinade.

Alton Brown's wings were a little more labor intensive, but they were dripping with sauce and messy like you would expect a good wing to be. The skin had a nice crispness about it, but wasn't too crunchy. Alton's wings were more reminiscent of the wings we are used to eating.

All in all, this was a fun challenge! Doing research on wings was fun. There are so many ways to prepare and serve them. I'd love to try wings with Sriracha sauce and I've even seen some tossed with peanut butter and jelly. This challenge has just opened up the door to many more possibilities.


  1. I'm going to have to try this! I have never heard of steamed wings. But I like the sounds of it. And I love that they were messy and yum!

  2. Oh my god those look AMAZING! I am in the process of marinating ribs in bourbon right now.

  3. Yay! I voted for wings. :)
    Love the throwdown. I'll have to try one one day, they are so exciting!

    I remember Alton's wing episode - he made a multi-level veggie steamer thingie for them. It did seem like a lot of work - glad it was a success!

  4. The best wings do seem to be two phase processes. Roast/fried or steam/baked are the popular methods. I just fire roast mine in the Egg but want to try frying them at the end.

    I like that you kept your mind open when tasting.

  5. Alton Brown's wings look more appealing to me. My one and only attempt at Buffalo wings was a dismal failure. I'll have to keep this recipe handy should I have occasion to make them again. Love the throwdown!

  6. I have no idea what I'm making for super bowl snacks but these wings sound great! I may have to try them ,-)

  7. Well you know I love me a good throwdown! Hold on while I get some popcorn and settle into my seat.

    Okay. Ready.

    Both look delicious! You know I would totally go for the not deep-fried ones. Especially if they are dripping in buffalo sauce!

  8. Both look awesome! I'm usually the one to go for the recipe with less hassle, but it sounds like the effort was worth it!

  9. You had me going there - I thought for sure you were going with Bubba's wings.

    I'm making my version of wings this weekend, too. They go perfectly with Superbowl!

  10. it seems like so many times the things that take the most work, never turn out worth the time and the labor, so i'm so glad in this case it did! fun fun throwdown, you got me craving some wings now!

  11. Wow those wings look so tasty! Yummy!

  12. This is a post after my own heart. I have been on a wing kick. I have heard that Alton Brown's wings were really good. I guess you confirmed that for me too.
    Great post!!!

  13. I also love the throwdown! I love to see which recipes you prefered the best.

    Happy SuperBowl!

  14. Wings used to be my son's favorite thing to eat before he turned vegan (with occasional slip-ups); I bet I can break his resolve with this recipe!

  15. Wings are one of my favorites! We've been frying ours, but I'd still like to try baking them.

    I've found that many of Alton Brown's recipes are more labor intensive than other versions, but he always delivers!

  16. I'm not much of a wing person, but I had to get over here and tell you that yesterday I made the Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies from a post back in Oct. I don't know if I should call you friend--luscious chocolate that made me so very happy, or foe--I'll be ruining every workout I've ever had since 1997.

  17. I voted for wings too because they sounded like a fun throwdown. Looking at the pictures forst I picked Alton's because they looked saucy but that is a lot of work for wings! ;-)

  18. Great challenge! I actually have a steamer, so now I really want to try Alton's recipe.

  19. What a great throwdown! I had a feeling Alton may win...he is so particular that his dishes always seem perfect! Enjoy the game tomorrow!

  20. I love the look of the Alton Brown ones. Yum! But if im honest, I'll take all the snacks and I don't care about the super bowl. I can just practice on my favorite sport: making a pig of myself.
    Have a fab weekend daaaaaaaahling!
    *kisses* HH

  21. Glad you tried these 2 recipes because I had copied them too. I almost made Alton's recipe for the Super Bowl but opted to make my Mom's Baked Wings recipe instead. I'm not surprised Alton's won your taste test!

    Gorgeous photos! SU'd!

  22. What a great throwdown idea! The steamed wings sounded best to me, because they sound like they'd be lighter than the fried ones. I'm glad they turned out to be tastier too! Thanks for doing the research for us.

  23. I dont remember what I voted for but these wings look delicious! I Stumbled!

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