Let’s face it. If healthy eating wasn’t simple and delicious, I wouldn’t be able to stick to it. With two kids, a very large energetic puppy, and hectic work hours, I need quick prep! And it absolutely has to taste good!
The problem is, we have been told for many years that healthy food is bland, tasteless and boring. It’s quite unfortunate that the nutritional advice we have been given has most people thinking they need to feel deprived to lose weight or feel good. How can you “feel good” when you’re always hungry and tired from a low-fat, low-calorie diet?
Chicken wings are a food that many would look at as being a “sometimes” option. Not something you want to eat if you’re trying to trim your waistline, right? Wrong.
The truth is, we should be eating ALL parts of the animal, not just muscle meats. That guy at the gym or your friend that is into nutrition may have told you that if you want to lose weight and get lean to ditch the skin because of the fat and calories. First off, living off nothing but boneless, skinless chicken breast is BORING and expensive. Secondly, all of the good flavor is in the skin. Finally, eating chicken skin, the RIGHT way, will make you neither unhealthy nor overweight.
Don’t get me wrong, my family does eat chicken cutlets, mainly because my husband prefers it (I enjoy making whole roasted chicken the most and would only do this if it weren’t for him), but being afraid of chicken skin or eating other parts is something you have to leave in the past, along with your egg whites! I spent many years avoiding the skin and picking it off … as a kid it was my favorite part!
Facts about chicken skin:
- It’s delicious. Skin brings all of the flavor and helps your chicken to retain moisture in cooking.
- It’s loaded with healthy fats: 55% of the fat found in chicken skin is monounsaturated, the same fat that everyone fusses about in olive oil.
- Oleic acid, sometimes referred to as omega-9, is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has several potential benefits ranging from encouraging the formation of high density lipoprotein, or HDL, which is the favored type of cholesterol to playing a role in managing glucose sensitivity.
- The reason so many fear chicken skin is because it contains saturated fats. Recent science has shown that saturated fats aren’t as terrible as we used to think! Saturated fats provide important health benefits and your body requires them for proper function of your immune system, cell membranes, brain, heart, lungs, and liver.
- The fats in chicken skin satiate hunger.
- Animal skins are high in collagen and gelatin, which are amazing for our skin, hair, bones, joints, and nails!
There are three caveats to all of this …
- Only choose chicken that has been pasture-raised from a trusted source. If you are in Pennsylvania, I love a farm called The Family Cow. The chickens live really great lives outdoors, no cramped conditions, plenty of sunlight, space, and the farmers go as far as to make sure their diet is natural to their species … they don’t even feed them soy! The healthier the chicken, the healthier the skin (and everything else)!
- Chicken skin contains a good amount of Omega-6 fatty acid, which we already eat way too much of (an imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 can lead to chronic inflammation), so don’t go too overboard on it!
- Don’t over cook it … charred skin is a no no. Just like cooking olive oil at very high heat turns it unhealthy, the same happens with animal skin!
Now that we got our little nutrition lesson out of the way, let’s get to the goods.
With the super bowl this coming up this weekend, I thought it was the perfect time to share how I make my wings! It is nothing groundbreaking or fancy, but I have shared this with several friends and clients who love them!
My favorite seasoning EVER is Borsari. I love the citrus and use it on fish and chicken mainly:
You can just do this seasoning, or you can spice things up with your Frank’s:
The great thing about Frank’s is, not only does it taste good, the ingredients are rad as hell.
Nothing shady at all!
Weezy loves to help prep all the veggies … so if you need a sous chef, let us know.
Baked Chicken Wings Recipe
- 2 pounds wings
- Borsari seasoning to coat
- ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place wings on cookie sheet lined with parchment or foil (you may want to coat it with bacon fat or high heat cooking fat of choice, they tend to stick). Bake wings for 10-15 minutes per side. Avoid burning or blackening the skin (that will make the fats turn unhealthy to eat!)
Buffalo Sauce (if desired):
- 1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
- 1/4 cup grass-fed butter
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Note: Since you pre-season the chicken you do not need salt and pepper in the sauce. If you do not season the chicken add 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the Frank’s mixture.
Melt the butter, add the hot sauce and whisk in spices. Add cooked wings to the sauce and coat. Make more as needed. If you want it more mild, try 3 TBPS Frank’s and 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP butter, or add more Frank’s to the original recipe if you want it more spicy!
Save the bones for stock!
Let me know your favorite Super Bowl recipe in the comments section!