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Mexican-style wings make easy weeknight meal

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Mexican-style chicken wings need just five ingredients, yet the finished product presents everything that makes chicken delicious — skin, bones and meat — in miniature form.

At the end of a long fall day — after dealing with all the demands of work and home — you don’t want making dinner to be a big deal.

What’s called for is something that’s idiot-proof and crowd-pleasing.

This recipe for Mexican-style chicken wings calls for just five ingredients, yet presents us with everything that makes chicken delicious — skin, bones and meat — in miniature form. And the best part for the home cook is that they require no cutting up or detailed preparation. Season them, toss them in the oven and you’re done.

Whole chicken wings consist of three segments: The plump part is called the drumette (because it is a smaller version of the bird’s drumstick). The skinny segment is called the flat. And the small aerodynamic part attached to the end of the flat is called the wing tip.

Ideally, you’ll pick up a package of drumettes at the store and call it a day. But dealing with whole wings is hardly a heavy lift. Just cut through the joint that connects the segments to sever the drumette from the flat. Then snip off the wing tips. (These you can toss or save to use in a stock.)

I’ve gussied up the wings with some Mexican ingredients, starting with chipotle-flavored garlic mayo and ending with crushed tortilla chips. (Chipotle in adobo adds a touch of smoke and spice; find it in cans in the Mexican aisle of supermarkets.)

You can reduce the total number of calories by using low-fat mayo and oven-baked tortilla chips. But do make sure the tortilla chips are seasoned. If they aren’t, mix them with a little salt after you’ve crushed them.

The finishing touch? A spritz of lime — just the thing to brighten up the baked wings.

FIVE-INGREDIENT MEXICAN-STYLE CHICKEN WINGS

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo
  • 12 chicken wing drumettes or 6 whole chicken wings, cut into joints
  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack inside a rimmed sheet pan.

In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, garlic, chipotle and 1 tablespoon water. Add chicken wings and toss to coat well on all sides. Roll wings in tortilla chips, making sure they are well coated on all sides. Transfer to rack on the sheet pan.

Bake on middle shelf of oven 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4 to 6.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 323 calories, 23 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 87 mg cholesterol, 332 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, no sugar, 14 g protein.

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