A few weeks ago I made a beer-can chicken recipe that used a 50/50 combination of Cajun seasoning and Old Bay seasoning. I instantly fell in love with the combination. A little heat, a little sweet, cloves, allspice, paprika… just about all you could imagine. I knew right then and there that I wanted to use the same mix on chicken wings. And so my Cajun Bay chicken wings were born. And oh how good they were. I served them dry, not sauced. Just that great combination of Cajun and Old Bay seasonings, with a little Ranch dressing on the side for dipping. The flavor combination was fantastic, and one you will see here again soon.
Once the wings are cooked, you can dust them with more of the Cajun and Old Bay mix if you want even more pronounced flavors. I skipped it since Anita isn’t quite the fan of Old Bay as I am. She doesn’t like cloves or allspice so much. That’s one nice thing about this mix. You still get those flavors, but they are toned down a bit because of the addition of the Cajun seasoning.
If desired, sprinkle wings with more of the seasoning mix.
If you want to add more seasoning to the wings after they are cooked make another batch using 1/2 tablespoon each of the Cajun and Old Bay seasonings. Sprinkle the cooked wings with the mix just before serving.
Whenever we are in the Cincinnati area we make a stop at Quaker Steak & Lube for wings. They have the best sauces and service around. Anita’s favorite sauce there is Thai ‘R’ Cracker, a somewhat sweet chili sauce. We also usually pick up a few bottles of sauce to take home. Those bottles don’t normally last long, so I decided to make a copycat of the sauce. Just like the original, this chili sauce-based mixture combines a bit of sweet and a bit of heat all with a slight Asian zing. It’s really, really good stuff. The kind of stuff that makes you want to lick your wings, which is borderline weird.
The secret to this copycat Thai ‘R’ Cracker sauce is in the chili sauces you choose. Both garlic and sweet chili sauces come in a lot of different variations, making it difficult to match the original taste exactly. I recommend getting a few bottles of each different sauce and mix them and try them to find the combination that you prefer. Our local grocery store had several different brands of each. You can also try your local Asian market for others.
I usually cook wings on my Char-Broil Big Easy or on my charcoal grill using the Vortex. I have to admit, I was pretty pessimistic about the idea of cooking wings in a slow cooker. Would I like the texture? Would they taste as great as wings off the grill?
One thing’s for sure, making Buffalo Ranch wings in a slow cooker really couldn’t get any easier. It was the perfect recipe for my working-from-home lunch. Toss everything in first thing in the morning and at lunch, enjoy some wings!
So how were they? Well, mighty tasty for starters. In fact, I loved the flavor. Big time. Texture-wise, they got barely crispy but the meat was oh-so-tender and juicy. For truly crispy skin you’ll have to leave them under the broiler for a good bit of time, but keep an eye on them. I found the skin to be melt-in-my-mouth tender and I didn’t actually miss not having super-crunchy wings. In fact, it was a nice change. I loved them!
Although not traditional Buffalo wings to a purist, I still enjoyed these slow cooker Buffalo Ranch wings more than I actually thought I would. No mess, no fuss and very tasty. Certainly much easier than firing up a grill or even deep fryer to make a batch of the wings you normally expect.