When I'm at the grocery store, I always wonder down the condiment aisle just to see if a) any hot sauce is on sale b) there are any new hot sauce. Most times, neither is the case.
But earlier this summer I was pleasantly surprised that there was a new sauce! President's Choice Cayenne & Scotch Bonnet Wing Sauce.
In general I'm not a big fan of scotch bonnet pepper sauces; I like the white hot blistering heat, but not the more fruity flavour of the pepper flesh. But with the cayenne in there, and it marketed as a 'wing sauce' and not just a hot sauce, I had to try it.
I mean the bottle even says it is "Scorching" in the PC heat rating scale! And the fact that Hot Sauce and the Scotch Bonnet Peppers are listed near the top of the ingredients, it seemed pretty promising. When you open the jar, the smell is slightly sour, slightly vinegary, and slightly fruity. The look of the sauce is light orange.
Taking a taste, the sauce attacked the tip of my tongue. The heat was white, quick and stinging. I was shocked and surprised - this was actually a hot hot sauce after all! I used it on a few food products and the taste was kind of a watered down cayenne based hot sauce, with a big bite. I immediately knew this sauce would be great on a grilled wing.
At the moment we live in a condo/apartment building and have to use a communal BBQ grill. I got some charcoal on fire, and I was excited to get to use my cast iron sauce pot. I lobbed in some butter, and then added the hot sauce.
Once the sauce was heated thoroughly and mixed, I put it off to the side of the charcoals to keep it warm while the wings cooked.
For the wings, I brined them in water, vinegar, salt, and spices. Once the brine was done, I seasoned them with Frank's Dry Seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper, roasted garlic and spices. Once the coals were flaming hot, I put down my BBQ mat and let them cook.
This grilling pit is really hard to control the temperature so a few wings got a little more scorched through the mat than I had planned. The fire was HOT. In the above photo at the bottom you can see the fat and seasoning is bubbling (there is no sauce on those wings). I tried one just as it was (Level 1) and they were good. I could only imagine how with the sauce it would be.
I transferred the wings to cook directly on the grill and started to baste them up with the sauce. If this grill pit had a lid I wouldn't have bothered, but I wanted that skin to get direct smoke, as well as some flame kisses. But it was so hot and my basting brush was very small, my hand had a hard time reaching those back wings.
I took the wings off the grill after flipping and basting a few times. I tried them as they were (Level 2) ooh wow they were good. I could have just eaten them at this stage as is, but I wanted to go to Level 3 with these wings.
Level 3? Yes, lets sauce these wings up! Also keep in mind that at this point the sauce was picking up the smoke from the lump charcoal and growing that flavour as well.
The photo above is one of my favourite moments of wing eatery. It just looks so beautiful.
I sat outside at the picnic table and took it all in. The grilled, charred rubbed wings, basted in butter hot sauce, and slathered in more butter Cayenne & Scotch Bonnet sauce. This was a perfect summer moment.
Wow. Wow were these good. The flavour was ON POINT. Charred and smokey wings, buttery and spicy sauce - it was a match made in heaven. As mentioned before, the PC sauce is a bit watery on it's own, but you mix it in with butter and you've got a kicked up Buffalo Sauce. A worthy suicide for the average spice lover.
The only downside was the wings themselves. Despite brining them they were still tough and a bit chewy for my liking. I can't seem to get tender wings on this outdoor pit.
Would I get this sauce again? You bet. It has a nice flavour, but it also has a lot of heat. Good heat. This isn't a sauce I would use all the time; I'm not crazy about scotch bonnet sauce but the added cayenne makes it a more full flavoured sauce. What elevated this hot sauce was the addition of butter. And grilled smokey wings. So good. Well done President's Choice, well done.
PC Cayenne & Scotch Bonnet Wing Sauce