Wings and Ribs

Alabama Living Magazine

Playoff and bowl games are the perfect setting to serve up some tasty homemade wings or ribs, or both!

Photos and Styling by Brooke Echols

Cook of the Month: Ed White, Covington EC

Ed White is a self-described “wing nut.” He loves to eat wings and he loves to cook them, especially for his wife who is partial to extra crispy ones. So he set out on a quest to perfect a recipe that would result in wings that were not only tasty, but crispy. He tried one he called “Spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings,” in honor of relatives who were coming to visit and who had helped make hundreds of PB&J sandwiches which included a care package, as part of an outreach to the homeless in Washington, DC. “They were tasty but not crispy,” he recalls. So he tried again, this time adding flour along with cornstarch to the coating. “That made the difference,” says White, a retired parks and recreation superintendent who now works as a plumbing contractor. Of course, to get them extra crispy, he recommends cooking them longer, which requires some patience, he says with a smile. For his sauce, he likes to use Tapatio brand hot sauce, which has medium heat. These wings would be perfect to serve during the upcoming football playoff and championship games, he adds.

Baked Chicken Wings

  • 4 pounds chicken wings (using the whole wing or halve them at the joints, discarding wingtips)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Buffalo sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Tapatio Hot Sauce
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Adjust your oven rack to the upper-middle position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with non-stick spray. Keep the chicken wings whole or halve them at the joints, discarding wingtips. Use paper towels to pat the wings dry and place them in a large bowl. It’s important to dry them very well. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning over the wings, tossing evenly to coat. Arrange wings, skin side up, in single layer on prepared wire rack. Bake on the upper middle oven rack, turning every 20 minutes until wings are crispy and browned. Total cook time will depend on the size of the wings but may take up to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer wings to a bowl and toss with sauce.

Buffalo Sauce:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together all sauce ingredients. Mix well until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to wings or prepare the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate. 

Ribs and Green Bean Stew

  • 1 slab ribs
  • 1½ pounds green beans, preferably fresh
  • 1 12-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 11.5-ounce can tomato juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, cut in large pieces
  • 4 Irish potatoes, cut in large pieces

Wash slab of ribs and take off excess fat. Cut  the ribs in pieces, one or two bones, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a large pan covered with parchment paper. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown. Pat excess grease off ribs. In a large pot, put in tomato paste and tomato juice. Add salt and pepper, and cut green beans. Cook about 30 minutes, then put the ribs in the pot with the green beans, add large pieces of onion and enough water to cover. Cook about one hour, add Irish potatoes and cook an additional 30 minutes. Serves 6. Delicious with Italian or French bread.

Sara Jean Brooklere, Cullman EC

Sweet Honey Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • Cooking oil, for deep frying

Cut wing tips off. Roll in flour. Deep fry until light brown. Mix brown sugar, honey and hot sauce. Dip wings in sauce. Lay out on a foil-lined baking pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 15 minutes.

Betty Black, Black Warrior EMC

Ellanor’s Easy Sauce

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Mix all ingredients and spread over ribs, chicken, roast or any meat of choice. Cook as desired. 

Kay Harrison, South Alabama EC

Rub-a-Dub Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons Tajin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

All ingredients can be mixed into a single spice container and used as a rub for chicken or fish. Makes for a sweet and smoky salmon rub. Can also be combined with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to use as a marinade.

Stephanie Khamken, Central Alabama EC

The Buttered Home

Chicken wings are a tailgate dream! While wings may be a cheaper cut of chicken, they have a ton of natural flavor all their own. There have been dozens of varieties of wings since they were first invented in Buffalo in 1964, but our favorite recipe is one that allows us to eat them the fastest. That motivation led us to develop this chicken wing recipe made quick and easy in the Instant Pot. We take whole wings and drumettes, steam-cook them in the instant pot, and then crisp them up by finishing them under the broiler with a tasty sauce. Quick, easy and super delicious! For more recipes like this one, visit us over at

Photo by The Buttered Home

Instant Pot Chicken Wings

  • 1 pound chicken wings and drumettes
  • 1/2 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, optional

Season wings with seasoning salt. Pour 1 cup water into liner pot of the Instant Pot. 

Place wings in a basket and put into Instant Pot. Close lid, lock, set vent to seal. Set to manual or pressure cook for 10 minutes for fresh chicken, 15 minutes for frozen.

When the cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release for about 10 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure.

Mix all remaining ingredients for sauce together well. Place wings in a large bowl and cover with half of the sauce. Coat well. Place wings on a sheet pan fitted with a rack or covered with foil. Place under broiler for 2 to 4 minutes per side. Baste with reserved sauce just before serving.


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