I put this recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Wings together on Mother's Day, although I wasn't necessarily planning on making it with a slow cooker. Truth be told, in honor of my mom who I lost too many years ago, I was going to make a chicken dinner in the style that she cooked nearly every Sunday, skillet fried. As has sometimes been known to be the case, my mind drifted a bit as the day went on. I found myself thinking of a barbecue sauce and then a slow cooker. For once, I'm happy I deviated.
Here's Why You'll Love these Slow Cooker BBQ Wings:
- Throw it all together in your slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time.
- It's a true one-pot wonder, you can even mix the sauce together in the slow cooker.
- No clean-up. (Not until the last bone is licked.)
- The sauce is easy to customize and make it your own. (There are figs in ours!)
- Finally, use what's in your pantry. You'll be amazed at the flavors you can create.
Throughout life we are reminded of the virtue of working smarter instead of harder. The same holds true in the kitchen, in so many facets. Putting your slow cooker to good use instead of leaving it stored and setting idle is a terrific method of putting this idea into action.
I had no idea how easy it was to put a barbecue sauce together. If you do a little research, you'll find scores of different recipes for sauces. Some are exhaustive, some have just a few ingredients. You can make it as simple as using a bottle of barbecue sauce from the shelf at the grocery store.
This recipe is all about the art of cooking, if I may be so bold to say. There really is no recipe here. There is a base of apple cider vinegar and tomato paste and ketchup and then a few add-ins: ginger, garlic, and a few other nips and tucks.
"Throughout life we are reminded of the virtue of working smarter instead of harder. The same holds true in the kitchen."
The point of this sauce is to make it your own. We all have different palates and the beauty of cooking to taste is that with a little imagination and a little luck, you can get virtually anything to taste perfect, to you.
Another benefit of letting the right side of your brain take over with a sauce like this is making good use of what you have on supply. Have some raisins that need to get used? Throw them in. How about that bag of dried figs that is almost empty. Yes!
Finally, at day's end, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case the crock pot. These flavor melded together beautifully. The meat was tender and the flavor expansive. Aside from reflecting on the great taste of this meal, my mind had one final thought as the last dishes were being cleared, "Why don't I use our slow cooker more often?" I hope you get yours out, today. -Dan
Slow Cooker BBQ Wings
- 3-4 lbs chicken wings
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 12 oz 340g can of tomato paste
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup sriracha chili sauce
- 1 handful dried figs coarsely sliced
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic or 3 cloves fresh, crushed
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger or small chunk fresh, peeled and chopped fine.
- Set slow cooker to high.
- Mix all ingredients together in slow cooker, except chicken.
- Add chicken, stir and cover.
- Reduce heat to low setting.
- Allow to cook for 3-6 hours, until chicken falls off bone.
Adjust quantity and types of ingredients to taste.
This sauce can be put together the night before, stored in the refrigerator and then used the following day.