Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jack's Natchitoches Super Bowl Wings

This is a spicy, juicy, crispy wings recipe that is best done on the grill. There is a complexity of flavors not commonly found in a wing recipe. This recipe combines that best of all buffalo wing techniques.

If you are like me you are a little tired of having to wipe off your hands after every bite of chicken, this recipe smokes and burns the hot sauce right in to the meat and skin so you get the flavor without as much mess.


Let’s start with the rub.

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried ground thyme

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 pounds chicken wings first and second sections only separated


The Sauce

½ cup butter

½ cup Franks Hot Sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


The Game Plan.

Combine all the ingredients of the rub in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Rinse and dry completely all wing sections. I can’t stress enough how important this step is.

I find that flour sack style towels work best (they can always be washed). After the wings are dry, place them in a large bowl about 15 at a time and sprinkle with the rub, after all the wings are in, mix them together with the rub until every wing is coated with rub.

Next, pour two tablespoons of olive oil over the wings and mix again.

Place the wings in the fridge for at least a couple hours.

While the wings are chilling melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. (You can also add a tablespoon of brown sugar I but I prefer to leave it out). Mix thoroughly and set aside.

About 45 minutes before kick-off, place a couple hand full’s of wood chips (I recommend Apple) in the grill, fire up the grill (who cares if it’s cold outside, we’re Alaskans right)? Give the grill 15 minutes to warm up and place the wings on the grill skin side up. Wash the large bowl because you will need it again.

I usually grill the wings at around 500 degrees for abound 10 minutes than flip them over for another 5 minutes. Pull the wings off the grill and place back in the large bowl and toss with the sauce that you mixed together, after all the wings are coated place them back on the grill skin side up for another seven to ten minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl. Remove the wings from the grill and serve with sliced celery and either ranch or blue cheese dressing.


Stacked Stone Gem (chilled…shhh, just trust us)

Steinbeck Zin

Badge Pinot Noir

Townshend Chardonnay

Andrew Murray Unplugged White

Any full bodied white wine




Friday, January 23, 2015

A Peek Into the Business of Wine

The wine business can sometimes be a complicated thing to understand, especially when you start to get to know the vineyard and winery owners and their employees. It’s not uncommon at all to attend a wine tasting and see one vineyard owner pouring wine for a another winery owner. Your first thought, if you are like me is, why is thisguy promoting a product from another business. Well let me throw a concept at you, let’s say that you are a very successful vineyard and winery and you have another winery move in down the road about a mile or so. Your first thought is CRAP!! More competition, on further investigation you learn that the winemaker is someone that you have admired for many years. So after a week or so you wander down the road and introduce yourself and of course take them a bottle of your best. They bring out some bread and cheese and before you know it you are great friends, now you’re thinking that once people learn that a world class winemaker is just down the road from you that it will draw a lot of people right by your driveway. Amazing how fast an attitude can change, right?

Anyway, you learn that the new winery will need to purchase fruit for the first several vintages until their vineyard matures. Now, this is where it gets interesting, you offer them a deal on some of your excess fruit which brings in enough extra cash to make improvements on your equipment which increases your production from 1000 cases a year to over 1500. The only catch is they will only buy from you if they can sell their product so you find yourself pouring their wines at events as well as your own label. This is the case with many wineries, I have found that even though they might compete, you will rarely hear anything bad about any winery from a competing winery, and you will also discover that many winemakers make wine for multiple wineries.

How many times have you said, this wine tastes just like the wine that I had the other day but the label was different “right”. Well how about this scenario, you have a new vineyard manager and he does an amazing job, because of his efforts you are able to get top dollar for your fruit and your wines are the best that you have ever produced. So when it’s time for his bonus you ask him what he wants and he says the first 50 cases of the Rhone style blend off the bottling line. You think about it for a bit and you say done deal. So now he slaps his label on it and you now have two exact wines at completely different prices and different labels. That is just one of many scenarios, many wineries offer custom labeling which complicates the market even more.

At the end of the day the only thing that matters is how much is the wine worth that I am drinking right now. Not monetary value, but quality. There has been many a blind tasting that was won by the least expensive wine competing.