Beer-Brined Grilled Turkey Wings
10 hr 30 min
1 hr
8 hr 30 min
1 hr
6 to 8 servings
10 hr 30 min
1 hr
8 hr 30 min
1 hr
6 to 8 servings


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril's Southwest Essence or other Southwest seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 lime, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 (12-ounce) beers
  • 5 pounds turkey wings, separated at the joints, second and third joints only (tips reserved for another use)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Emeril's Poultry Rub or other poultry seasoning
  • Bourbon BBQ Sauce, recipe follows
  • Spicy Garlic Ranch Dressing, recipe follows
Bourbon BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 (14-ounce) bottles tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Creole or whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Spicy Garlic Ranch Dressing:
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


In a large, nonreactive container combine the water, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, light brown sugar, Southwest Essence, and crushed red pepper and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.

Add the onions, lime slices, cilantro, garlic, and beer and stir gently to combine.

Add the chicken wings and position so that they are completely submerged in the brine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

Remove the wings from the refrigerator and discard the brining solution. Pat wings dry with paper towels and set aside to come to room temperature for 30 minutes, covered.

Preheat a grill to low.

Brush the wings on both sides with the vegetable oil and sprinkle the Poultry Rub evenly over both sides.

Place wings on grill. Grill the wings, turning occasionally to promote even browning, until they are cooked through and the meat begins to pull away from the bones, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve the wings with both sauces. Let cool briefly before serving.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pulse 2 or 3 times. Store in a sterilized container until ready to use.

Spicy Garlic Ranch Dressing:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top 1/2-inch off the head of garlic. Put the garlic in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with oil. Cook until garlic is soft, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Halve the head of garlic widthwise. Press on the garlic to press out the cloves, and then put the garlic in a blender. Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, Essence, salt, parsley, chives, and zest and pulse until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William Morrow, 1993.

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