Thursday, February 3, 2011

BBQ Wings and Pareve Ranch Dressing

Eitan Loewenstein is a writer, pastry chef and dessert caterer. As a member of our community, Eitan has baked chocolate chip cookies in our Purim "Cook Off" and has baked over 1,000 hamantashen for the Adat Ari El Religious School fundraiser.
We are thrilled to have Eitan as a contributor to our blog and teach us some culinary techniques along the way. BBQ Wings are traditional for a Super Bowl Party and if you have never made them, Eitan has made it very easy with his step by step instruction. If you'd like Eitan to prepare food for your next party or write you something funny please e-mail him at:

As a pastry chef for hire I rarely get to make savory food items for my customers. Typically I make loads of delicious cakes, cookies and bars. Yummy to be sure, but man can not live on desserts alone although I've made a valiant effort. Lucky for me, my family allows me to cook them dinner once in a while.

One of those items people who keep kosher really seem to miss is buffalo wings with ranch dressing. We're left with two options: fake wings or a pareve dressing. Fake wings are never quite convincing so I go for the real chicken and a pareve dipping sauce. Since I'm the only one in my family who'd eat the spicy wings, I usually go for a BBQ sauce to please the whole family. I'll give you the recipe for Buffalo as well, just in case you're feeling zesty.

It's true you can go to the butcher and buy pre-cut wings but in order to shave a few cents off each pound of wings I simply cut my own. It's easy and quick, if you know this trick.

Here's how to cut wings easily. Pick up the wing in one hand and squeeze the pieces together. This makes the top joint pronounced and easy to find. Use a knife to start an incision where the two bones separate. Do not cut all the way through or you're likely to get your hand as well. Once you have marked the joint put the wing on the cutting board and complete the cut. After you do a couple this way you'll figure out where the joint is and not have to do the whole lift and pinch thing and instead just cut them on the board.

You'll notice that these wings are not fried but still come out super crispy. Restaurants fry their wings because it's faster and they don't care about your health. I care. We'll bake these wings at a very high temperature for a long time to get them just as crispy as if they were dunked in fat.

The ranch dressing can be made with either mayo or pareve sour cream. I usually don't have pareve sour cream in my fridge so I almost always use mayo. The sour cream makes for a more creamy dip so it might be worth grabbing a pint if you're looking to impress your guests more than usual. You can thin the dip out with either non-dairy creamer or water. Obviously one will be a little creamier than the other. That said I almost always do a mayo/water dip and my family and friends love it.

BBQ sauce and ranch are simply suggestions. Any bottled or home made chicken sauce can be used to make whatever wings fly into your dreams. I've made General Tso's wings and sweet and sour wings simply by subbing in a sauce I happened to have in the pantry. Experiment and have fun. Chicken wings are so cheap there's no reason not to serve a giant plate of these at your next party.

Now, onto the recipe:

BBQ Wings and Pareve Ranch Dressing

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a meal. Approx. 20 pieces.

2 pounds Chicken Wings (Separated into two pieces)
Salt & Pepper
3/4 cup or to taste BBQ Sauce (I prefer Char-B-Que brand)

1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Pareve Sour Cream
1/4 cup Non-Dairy Creamer or Water
1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
pinch of Dill
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Celery Salt
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Pareve Chicken Consume Powder (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Use paper towels to dry your wings as much as possible. The drier they are the crisper they get. I actually like to leave mine out on the counter while the oven heats up but some people might frown at the idea of leaving chicken out at room temperature even if you're about to cook them to a very high temperature. Not me and I'm certified as a food handler.

3. Put aluminum foil in a sheet pan and place an uncoated metal cookie cooling rack inside of the sheet pan. If you don't want to make one of your cookie racks fleishig (meat) simply put wings directly onto the aluminum but they won't be as crispy. You must be absolutely certain your cooling rack has no plastic on it or you will be picking pieces of melted plastic out of your teeth for weeks. Coat with non-stick spray.

4. Place chicken wings on rack making sure to leave room between each wing to allow for good browning. Lightly salt and pepper.

5. Bake in oven for 50 minutes until golden brown. Flipping halfway through helps brown the wings evenly but be sure not to leave the oven door open while flipping. There might be some smoke as the fat renders off. Don't worry.

6. Upon removing from oven move wings immediately into a bowl and toss with BBQ sauce.

7. Construct the dressing by mixing the mayo with all the herbs and spices.

8. Once mixed slowly add water/non-dairy creamer until the dipping sauce reaches desired consistency. If you add too much at once you will have a hard time mixing the liquid in and your sauce can get lumpy. If it does get lumpy use a whisk and mix until smooth.

9. Eat with your hands.

Variation: Pareve Buffalo Wing Sauce

1/2 cup Hot Sauce (Frank's Red Hot Sauce is traditional and has a hechsher)

1/3 cup Margarine

1. Melt margarine in microwave then mix in hot sauce. Use instead of BBQ sauce in recipe above