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A chicken wing is a chicken wing is a chicken wing, right? Not so fast. We disagree that all chicken wings are created equal. In fact, we’d like to argue the point that our chickens (and thus, their wings) really outshine the rest — because not only are Do Good Chicken’s wings delicious, they are also good for the planet, too.

Allow us to explain: Because our chickens are fed nutrient-rich feed made from healthy surplus grocery food (after community donations are made), we are eliminating retail food waste and the greenhouse gases associated with discarded grocery and retail food waste. Additionally, our chicken feed decreases the amount of greenhouse gases associated with conventional production of broiler chickens.

This process allows for a more planet-friendly meat; healthy, high-quality chicken that makes the perfect blank canvas for any recipe, like these Pickle-Brined, Grilled Wings with White Alabama BBQ Sauce. 

Imagine your favorite wings, only first soaked in pickle brine, then rubbed in blackening spice and grilled, and finally topped off with a tangy, sweet, spicy Alabama white sauce. Sounds good, right? Read on for how to get these on your plate.

Ways to Customize Grilled Wings with White Alabama BBQ Sauce 

Even the best laid plans can fall short sometimes especially when you’re mid-dinner-prep. These tips for chicken recipe customization can help. 

  • No chicken wings? You can still brine, grill, and sauce other cuts of chicken you have on hand, you just might have to increase the amount of brine (and the time you allow for the brining process). Be sure to cook any thicker cuts of chicken longer — until a meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 
  • Spice it up. Cajun seasoning makes a good substitution for blackening seasoning but it can be a bit spicier. 
  • Or don’t. You can skip using the blackening seasoning all together and just use a simple salt and pepper preparation before grilling, letting the sauce deliver most of the flavor 
  • Shortcuts. Don’t worry if you’re short on ingredients or time, store-bought is perfectly okay (bottled Alabama white sauce is terrific)! And, while we love the layers of flavor from pickled red onions and chopped chives, they are totally optional.

Why Do You Brine Chicken in Pickle Juice? 

A brine, by definition, is simply the act of soaking a cut of meat into a solution of salt and water to help break down the meat and retain moisture. Using pickle juice as the brine, then, is a no-brainer. Your brine is pre-packaged and ready to use, and the dill pickle flavor adds additional flavor and complexity. The result is flavorful chicken wings that won’t dry out when they hit the grill. 

How to Grill More Sustainably 

According to Catherine Greener, our Chief Sustainability Officer, the first step you can take toward more sustainable grilling is to “Think of your behavior while you’re in front of the grill by using your fuel consciously and strive to be more fuel-efficient.”


Other tips include:

  • Using a gas grill as it is more energy-efficient and less polluting than its charcoal counterpart. 
  • If using a charcoal grill, nix the lighter fluid and pre-soaked, self-lighting charcoal. Opt for natural or lump charcoal that is more environmentally-friendly.
  • Avoid adding preheating time, today’s gas grills don’t take long to reach their desired temperature. 
  • Cleaning your grill often also cuts down on preheating time. 
  • Promptly turn the grill off as soon as your meat or vegetables are done.

Pickle-Brined, Grilled Wings with White Alabama BBQ Sauce

Serves: 4
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 

Ingredients 

  • 14 Do Good Chicken Wingettes & Drumettes (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 cup pickle juice 
  • 1 cup cold tap water 
  • 2 teaspoon blackening seasoning
  • 6 tablespoons White Alabama BBQ Sauce (store bought or see recipe, below)
  • 2 tablespoon pickled onions (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives (optional) 

Directions 

Brining Wings

  1. Place wings in a container and cover with pickle juice and water. (If you have leftover pickles, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.)
  2. Move wings around to ensure all of them are submerged in the liquid.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to marinate.

Grilling Wings

  1. Remove wings from the brine and drain off excess liquid.
  2. Place them in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with blackening spice. Toss to coat the wings evenly with spice.
  3. Place spiced wings on a grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and continue grilling for 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Transfer wings to a baking sheet and cook in a 400-degree oven for 4-5 additional minutes or until fully cooked. 
  5. Remove from the oven and place in a clean mixing bowl.
  6. Add White Alabama BBQ Sauce and toss to coat each wing with sauce.  
  7. Pile wings in a bowl or on a plate.
  8. Sprinkle with pickled onion slices and chopped chives (optional) and serve. 

White Alabama BBQ Sauce 
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 4 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse grind 
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white granulated sugar

Directions 

  1. Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Transfer to a container, cover, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. slightly heat before adding to cooked wings.

Think you might be on board with more sustainable eating? Great! Still have questions? Head to our FAQs https://dogoodchicken.com/about/to learn more about how Do Good Chicken is working toward reducing food waste and making a difference for dinner.

Want to test out this recipe with Do Good Chicken of your very own? Head to our store locator to find a retailer near you!