I know I often talk about things I’ve eaten on vacation and my desire to replicate them at home. This recipe will be no different. In Duck, North Carolina there is a little restaurant called Duck Deli that we have been enjoying for years but always just the pulled pork. This year I decided to venture into the meat cabinet. They sell a sampler platter the size of a truck tire consisting of wings, ribs and pulled pork…winner. While the ribs and pork were amazing, it was the wings that really stood out to me. The official menu name was “Spicy Smoker Hot Wings” so I knew where to start. They were so caked full of dry rub that I was covered by the time I was done eating, it was near perfection. It was this thick coating that I needed to replicate!
My first challenge was to figure out a flavor I wanted to enjoy in mass quantities on my wings. Following an exhaustive search of the spice cabinet I came away with a bottle of Sweet Mesquite Seasoning from Kirkland (Costco). Obviously it was too thick to use as it was so out came the coffee grinder. A few passes under the blades and I was presented with a fine powdery goodness ready for application.
You can make as much rub as you think you’ll need here, you can’t have too much in my opinion. First step is to place the wings in a zip top bag and toss in about half of your rub. Give it a good shake and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. Feel free to enjoy a nice frosty beverage at this point.
After they have had ample time to absorb the flavors of the rub, it’s time to fire up the smoker. Everyone will have a slightly different opinion on how to make these but I went with two hours in the smoker at 200-250 degrees. I used mesquite chips to stay with a consistent flavor.
Once the two hours are up you should have a good amount of fat dripping off, the perfect adhesive for, you guessed it, more rub. Toss the wings in a big bowl with as much additional rub as you can stomach. You aren’t going to get a nice crisp finish in the smoker at these temperatures so I suggest throwing them on the grill for a few minutes. This will solidify that new rub and take care of any excess fat lurking around.
Once these beauties get to the point they look crispy to your liking, take them off and serve with your dressing of choice. I wanted to enjoy the flavor so I actually ended up not using any. Keep the napkins close!