I was shopping at my local natural grocery store the other day. To my surprise, rather than the slot that is usually filled with plain old chicken breasts, is filled with my favorite football season treat, chicken drumettes. Chicken breast is great for adding quick protein to any meal, but for real flavor, juiciness, and crisp chicken skin, chicken wings or drumettes are the best.
Even though we have been led to think otherwise, chicken skin is not unhealthy. Advertising that has been mistaken for fact has led the public to think that scrumptious chicken skin is unhealthy. Chicken skin is high in monounsaturated fat, similar fat to olives and avocado, which have both been deemed “good fats” in recent years. Fats from whole food sources are not the enemy.
Trans fats created in chemical plants are the enemy. Trans fats are created when hydrogen atoms are forced by high pressure into an unsaturated fatty acid chain. These extra hydrogens create a fatty acid chain unlike any found in nature, so when consumed, our body is unsure what to do with it. Yummy fat from chickens, however, is utilized by our body properly. It can be used for energy to power our cells for basic living functions, to repair damaged cells, provide elasticity to cells, to protect our cells from invaders like toxins and pollutants, and build immunity; the list goes on because all of our cells use fat and need fat to work optimally.
The layer of fat that collects between the outer skin of chicken and the meat is full of wonderful beneficial healthy characteristics. Often, whole chickens are cooked into broth to obtain this benefit and some cultures have relied on chicken soup when nursing a cold. Traditional cultures rely on the benefits of the whole animal, as the South American proverb puts it, “Good broth can resurrect the dead.” The amino acid, cysteine, found in chicken helps to detoxify the body by assisting the body to produce glutathione. Glutathione is a detoxifier to most organs, including the liver, where it helps with an efficient breakdown of mucous. The reason grandmothers and great grandmothers cook chicken soup for their sick families is because of the goodness found in the whole chicken, not the chicken breast. Instead of chicken broth, I will focus on the lovely chicken drumettes I purchased at the store to obtain some of these same health benefits, but in a game day celebratory way.
Now for the good stuff, chicken wings!
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cover a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
Take 2 lbs of chicken wing/drummettes, rinse and then pat dry with paper towel.
For the seasoning, combine 1 tbsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground black pepper,* and ½ tsp. garlic powder and stir to combine.
Take a pinch of seasoning and sprinkle over each chicken wing/drumettes, ensuring to get every side.
Place chicken wing/drummettes on parchment lined sheet pan evenly spaced. Each piece of chicken needs it’s own room in order to create crispy skin, so do not let them touch.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving, about 10 minutes.
I enjoy these wings right from the pan, but my husband prefers a dipping sauce. Try serving with hot sauce, pesto, or a homemade buttermilk ranch.
*omit black pepper for AIP