RECIPE: Inside-Out Wings


I’ll start this recipe with a confession of sorts, an admission of guilt: I know that boneless wings are a divisive subject. No, they are not real wings; they’re chunks of meat cooked to resemble them, with fundamental differences.

I must defend them, though.

Much as I believe that Cincinnati Chili would be a far less inflammatory food product were it called “Macedonian Pasta Sauce” or something other than chili, I think that fried chunks of chicken covered in buffalo sauce or other wing-type seasoning are a delicious food that suffer undue scorn simple due to their name.

So, with that said: onward to these wings.

For this recipe, I’m assembling the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs

  • 8 oz crumbled blue cheese

  • 6 oz sour cream

  • salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder

  • all-purpose flour

  • Frank’s Red Hot or your own preferred wing sauce

First, mix the blue cheese crumbles with just enough of the sour cream to somewhat bind them into a cohesive mix — if it takes less than six ounces, use less. Pinch together teaspoon-sized lumps, roll them into a ball, and place them in a container lined with parchment paper in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Now, the chicken. Pulse the chicken thighs in a food processor, or grind in a meat grinder until the mixture is fine enough to be easily shaped by hand. Mix in salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder (use your judgement on how much you like).

Form roughly 2” circles of the chicken mixture, and place a frozen ball of cheese in the center. Squeeze the chicken tightly around the ball, making sure to close all openings. (This is critical). Dredge lightly with flour and fry in 350F oil for 5-6 minutes. (I also did a batch in the air fryer at 360F for ~15 minutes, and they were similarly good).

Toss with the sauce, and you’re in business.

After biting into these and getting a burst of melted cheese from inside a hollow chicken shell, I’ll tell you exactly what these reminded me of: those classic food-service freezer-case Chicken Cordon Bleu pucks.

Boneless wings might be a travesty to some, but whatever you want to call these, they were delicious.

Scott Hines (@actioncookbook)

This recipe appeared in the January 31st email newsletter, a Super Bowl preview titled “The Seven Snackurai”. If you landed here from somewhere else, do yourself a favor and check that out.