Mexican-Inspired Grilled Chicken Wings

It’s time to get your grill on!  Perfecto for impromptu barbecues, we love this Mexican-inspired, dry-rub grilled chicken wing recipe because there is no need to marinate the chicken beforehand.

Serving Size:

3 To 4 People

Total Cooking Time With Prep:

45 Minutes To An Hour

What You Will Need:

– Charcoal Grill

Large Bowl

3 lbs of whole chicken wings (wing tips included)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (table salt is fine too)

Granulated Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper

Fresh Ground Pepper

Tapatio Hot Sauce

Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Small Stack of Cilantro

Directions:

First things first, prepare your charcoal grill with a heap of gray/white coals in the middle of the coal catcher. I insist that you leave the charcoal unadulterated (i.e. no lighter fluid) because it will ruin the flavors you are about to embark on. Normally I use a standard sized Weber grill that comfortably fits 3 lbs of chicken wings on the outer edge of the grill leaving the middle completely open for other food to grill with direct heat. You don’t want your chicken wings on top of direct heat for too long because they will char too quickly (and you don’t want burnt, undercooked chicken wings!) The old barbeque adage goes, “Low And Slow Is the Way To Go!”

While the coals are heating up nicely on the grill, grab a large sized bowl and put all the chicken wings in. Once you’ve done that, begin to add: sea salt, cayenne pepper, fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic powder, Tapatio Hot Sauce, and fresh squeezed lime juice, liberally.

Now this is when things get dirty! Mix up all the ingredients in the bowl with your hands in order to massage all these ingredients into the chicken wings. Once you’ve done that, you might want to add another helping of the ingredients above in order to cover the wings that were on the bottom of the bowl, but that’s completely up to your discretion and taste buds. You want to make sure the chicken wings have a light red tint to them, if not add more cayenne pepper to the equation.  Before you put the wings on the grill, be sure to whip out that extra virgin olive oil and liberally coat the top of the bowl full of wings and stir it all up again. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil will act as a nice coating in order to keep the previous ingredients on the wings and to help crisp up the wings while they’re cooking on the grill.

After all that elbow grease has been used up mixing the bowl full of wings, you’re about ready to go put these bad boys on the grill. Be sure to put the wings on the edges of your circular grill with the skin side facing down and the wing tips facing toward the middle of the grill. Once every 3 to 4 minutes you want to flip the wings over with the wing tips facing toward the edge of the grill and the skin side facing up. Be sure to rotate the wing tip and skin side positions in various ways to make sure that every portion of the wings has been on the grill. You want to achieve a nice golden brown hue to your wings, which usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour of flipping them every 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on top of the grill during the last portion of the cooking process in order to achieve a nice smoky flavor. While you’re waiting for the wings to cook, be sure to grab that stack of cilantro and dice them up finely, which will serve as a nice garnish after you take the wings off the grill and onto a serving plate.

Please send any pictures, success stories, or comments about this recipe to [email protected]. I’d love to hear how your chicken wings turn out!

Eric Rubin’s Journal: Queso Fresco

Who doesn’t like Queso Fresco?  Light, fresh and healthy, it goes with almost anything, Mexican or not.  I didn’t always know why I liked it so much until someone told me what it is–basically cottage cheese with the whey (liquid) pressed out.  So that explains it!  I’ve always loved cottage cheese with Mexican hot sauce (my favorites being Valentina, Tapatio, and Cholula) so that’s why enjoying Queso Fresco the same way made so much sense.

Eric Rubin’s Journal: Tequila.net

Tequila.net Homepage

To all of you trying to figure out which Tequila-related website is best, let me put in my vote for Tequila.net.  Although many sites have great content, reviews, photos, and running dialog, Tequila.net upped the ante when they added a searchable database.  You can search by distillery name, product name, or even NOM number, definitely my favorite feature.  Their site also features a very user-friendly interface and is kept very current.   Congratulations to Darin and the Tequila.net crew for passing the one million visitor mark in 2010!

Tres Agaves @ BeMyApp & Agave Agape

Tres Agaves was featured over the weekend at a couple of great local events.

If you’re a developer in San Francisco, you might have caught BeMyApp going on at the pariSoma Innovation Loft.  The concept?  90 people get together on Friday to design the next great mobile app by Sunday.  Nothing gets ideas flowing like Tequila.  The minds behind the next Angry Birds kicked things off on Friday by squeezing limes and suckin down fresh Margaritas.

From Tres Agaves’ event representative Maria Ferrer:

“Techies from different parts of the world love-love-love to make their own world-class Tres Agaves Margaritas.  They are all falling in line at the “MYOM” station (Make Your Own Margarita) station for the TAP experience!  Great TAP reception at pariSoma BeMyApp event:)”

Check out BeMyApp’s blog to hear more about the event, and to read about some of the all-star developers involved.

While they were crunching 1’s and 0’s in SF, Tres Agaves was display at the Agave Agape, Tequila Tasting & Auction Fundraiser.  What the heck is ‘Agave Agape’?  It basically just means, ‘to love tequila’, and the 100 or so people there all did.  Noted Tequila expert and friend of the brand Joanne Weir was also on hand signing her book “TEQUILA: A guide to types, flights, cocktails and bites”.

From Tres Agaves NorCal Promotions Manager Rafael Amador:

“I knew it was going to be a special night when I walked in the small intimate venue, with my niece’s original training saddle, cowboy hat and my own suede gavan for display.  The noise level went down and could feel the stares asking ‘What the…!’ I brought two 2 glass containers, both we filled with fresh limes, and in the front one I threw in some serrano chilies in to the mix. We passed out Sangrita and it really did get the ‘OMG, you have to try this!’ comment from a lot of people.  I made it with just about the right kick, and added salt and pepper to my own taste. (you can check out the recipe here ). Best part of the evening? Our Reposado won the taster’s choice award!”

That’s it for now.  If you don’t want to miss out on other events like these, make sure to sign up for the Tres Agaves Newsletter.

Uno, Dos, Tres Agaves on National Margarita Day

While many debate the origins of the most popular American cocktail, the Margarita, we know one thing for certain – Tres Agaves was born with a mission: to make the freshest, most authentic and delicious Margarita the world’s ever tasted, and the reason is simple:  We keep it simple.

100% pure agave Tequila.  All-natural Agave Nectar.  Fresh lime juice. 
 
NO corn syrups. NO food coloring. NO artificial sweeteners. 

 
Just pure Margarita greatness.
 

In honor of National Margarita Day, Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011, Tres Agaves is here to remind you that all it takes is Uno, Dos, Tres.

Uno – 2oz Tres Agaves Tequila
Dos – 1oz Tres Agaves’ All-natural Agave Nectar
Tres – 1oz Fresh squeezed lime juice

The result = Perfecto.

Our suggestion: pop down to your local Hispanic or specialty food store and ask for ‘Mexican’ or ‘Key’ limes (different than your standard ‘Persian’ limes). They’re a little smaller in size and it may take a little extra squeeze-action to get your 1oz – but the juice offers a really special tart/bitter complement to the Tequila and Agave Nectar. There’s a reason they only use Key limes in traditional Mexican Margaritas!

Tequila Talk: What’s with the Worm?

In a recent episode of the hit show ‘An Idiot Abroad’, Ricky Gervais’ new project featuring his friend Karl Pilkington (the idiot) traveling the 7 wonders of the world, Karl is forced to eat the worm resting at the bottom of a bottle of ‘Tequila’.

Let’s take this time, however, to make a few points clear. First off, Tequila has zero tradition of including a worm in the bottle. That practice is reserved for Mezcal, Tequila’s cousin. Distilled from the Maguey plant, rather than the Blue Weber Agave, Mezcal sometimes include small insect. But it is not a worm–it’s (usually) the moth larvae hypopta agavis. The ‘worms’ are also known as hilocuiles, chinicuiles, tecoles or gusanos rojos (because of their red colors), and impart a distinctive hue and flavor to the drink.

You are probably thinking, “ok, but why are they in my Tequila…I mean Mezcal?” Take a closer look at the latin name, hypopta agavis (emphasis on agavis), and we find our answer. These organisms begin their lives when their mother plants her eggs in the heart of the maguey plant. They then eat their way out, feeding on the leaves, or pincas, until they form a cocoon, emerge as butterflies and flutter away.

Getting hungry? The mature caterpillars are considered a delicacy in parts of Mexico, and are used in local cuisines. You might also see them deep fried with some salsa picante, wrapped in a tortilla. A 100 gram serving packs almost 700 calories.

Eric Rubin’s Journal: East vs West

Jan. 26th – East vs West

Today I’m traveling to the East Coast, specifically Virginia Beach. I look forward to posting some of the differences we see in Tequila knowledge here vs the West Coast. The numbers do show that considerably more 100% agave Tequila is consumed west of the Mississippi, so from that might assume that the knowledge level is higher out west. But is it true?

January 27th – East vs West

After one day I can say that the selections of 100% agave brands out west is way, way more impressive than what I saw today, and I do think more Tequila aficionados reside out west. But, to be fair to people here, a lot of what is sold to people in bars and restaurants out west is not dictated by the consumer. Their choices (i.e. back bars and cocktail lists) are put together by bartenders and beverage managers that are more knowledgeable due to their proximity to Mexico and long history of Anglo-Latino cultural exchange in their communities.

Friday Fact: Etymology of Tequila

Everybody knows Tequila is a (tasty) spirit. Surprisingly few know that it’s also a place.

The town of Tequila (site of Tres Agaves Tequila’s distillery) is nestled comfortably in the valley of Tequila, below the Tequila Volcano.

By my count, that’s four different things, all going by the same name.  Why is everything in sight down there called ‘Tequila’, and what does it mean? The authorities differ on this point.

Most agree that the term comes from an ancient Nahuatl word. It has been variously taken to mean ‘place of tribute’, and ‘place of work’ on one end of the spectrum, and ‘place of taxes’, ‘place of tricks’ on the other.

Other theories of the word’s original meaning center around the Tequila Volcano that looms over over the town. For instance, some believe that Tequila should be translated as ‘the rock that cuts’, a reference to the obsidian that is abundant in the area. At least a few others think Tequila is a corruption of ‘tetilla’, implying that the locals thought the mountain looked like a small breast.

Tequila isn’t Nahuatl’s only contribution to modern parlance. According to Wikipedia all of the following words and more can be traced back to this indigenous Mexican group of languages:

achiote, aguacate, cacahuate, chile, chipotle, chocolate, coyote, guacamole, jícara, jitomate, mezcal, mezquite, mole, nopal, popote, pozole, quetzal, tamal, tomate.