There was a time when I was growing up that, chicken wings were the part of the chicken that no one wanted to buy. Like skirt steak (now used for fajitas), chicken wings were the cheap leftovers. Fast forward thirty years and chicken wings are as popular as hamburgers and french fries, and they now command a premium price as well. If you have read any of my articles and or recipes, then you know that we raise not only chickens but meat rabbits on our small homestead. And before you ask, no rabbit doesn't taste like chicken. Having said that, when you dress out a rabbit, each carcass presents you with two forelegs that are very similar in size and weight as a chicken wing.
In fact, you can cut the forelegs at the joint, and they are not only very similar in size to chicken wings, but they can be cooked in exactly the same way. So whenever we butcher some of our rabbits, we separate the forelegs and vacuum seal them by themselves so that we can prepare rabbit forelegs (hot wings) whenever we get the hankering for some hot wings. Having said that, if you do not raise rabbit and want to cook some great chicken wings, then you can follow this same recipe and simply substitute chicken wings in place of the rabbit forelegs.
As you may know, my wife and I have embarked on a low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) way of eating about a year ago. The great thing about this recipe is that is a great LCHF / Ketogenic way to cook not only chicken wings, but rabbit forelegs. Because we do not use any flour or other ingredients other than the sauce (hot sauce and butter) to coat the meat, they are virtually carbohydrate free! Keep in mind that if you use any commercially prepared sauces they may have hidden carbs in the form of sugar and or sugar alcohols. You can find a number of LCHF sauce recipes on our blog if you need a good LCHF / Keto sauce for your chicken wings or rabbit forelegs. If your not eating LCHF, then sauce them as you wish.
I will say this, I love my Instant pot electric pressure cooker. It is great for reducing the cook times for a wide variety of dishes, and it is perfect for this recipe. Start to finish you can have a mess of wings ready for your friends and family to enjoy in less than 45 minutes, or less than 30 minutes if you use the quick release cooking method. So grab your electric pressure cooker and let's go make some hot wings / forelegs.
Chicken / Rabbit Hot Wings
You will need 2 to 4 pounds of chicken wings or rabbit forelegs for this recipe. I like to keep it simple when I am making buffalo style hot wings and simply season the meat with salt and pepper, but you can use any number of flavored seasonings, just keep in mind the final flavor profile you are looking to present as some seasonings may not be compatible with your sauce of choice.
2 – 4 pounds of rabbit forelegs or chicken wings
½ cup hot sauce of choice (Franks' or Louisiana Hot Sauce)
½ stick of butter (melted)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the rabbit forelegs at the joint so that you have two pieces similar to that of a chicken wing. Season with salt and black pepper. Place a steamer rack in your electric pressure cooker and add 1 cup of water. Add the rabbit forelegs on top of the rack and close your pressure cooker making sure that the vent is closed. Cook the forelegs on high pressure (manual mode) for 10 minutes and then quick release the pressure; or, you can pressure cook them for cook for 8 minutes and let the pressure come down naturally (about 15 – 20 minutes.)
Chef's Note: I personally like to cook my wings/forelegs for the 8 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally. I find that this way the wings/forelegs are cooked to perfection and they are nice, tender and juicy. Using a steamer rack is an important step, I do not like my wings to sit in the bottom of the pressure cooker in the water, but this is just a personal preference.
While the wings/forelegs are cooking combine 1/2 cup of hot sauce with 1/2 cup of butter in a medium sized plastic bowl and heat in the microwave until the butter melts and them whisk until thoroughly combined. If you wish to melt the butter separately and them combine it with the hot sauce you can, but it does not really matter.
Once the pressure is released from your pressure cooker, remove the the wings or forelegs and pat dry with a paper towel if necessary. Place the wings/forelegs into the bowl with your wing sauce and toss them until they are totally coated with the sauce. Then remove them from the bowl and place them on a foil lined baking sheet.
Chef's Note: At this point the wings/forelegs are completely cooked, and you could eat them striaght form the bowl, and they would be quite good. However, broiling them for 5 minutes and then tossing them into the wing sauce a second time gives the final product a greater depth of taste as more sauce adheres to the wings/forelegs after they have been broiled and tossed a second time.
Once the wings/forelegs have been arranged on your foil lined baking sheet place it in your preheated oven and broil the wings/forelegs on high for about 5 minutes. Because every oven's broiler is slightly different carefully watch the wings/forelegs as they can quickly go from light brown to burned rather quickly. In my particular oven, 5 minutes is perfect.
Once your wings/forelegs have been broiled for 5 minutes and they are nice and brown, remove them from the foil and place them back in the bowl with the wing sauce and toss them one more time to re-coat the wings/forelegs. Then serve the wings on a platter, divide them onto equal portions, or simply eat them out of the bowl.
The nutritional information for this recipe is based on a two pounds of rabbit forelegs and or 2 pounds of chicken wings. Farm raised meat rabbits like we raise are lean all white meat, and it is closer to chicken breast when you look at the fat content. Because of this, rabbit forelegs have quite a bit less fat than chicken wings with the skin on. However, the butter in the sauce does add a substantial amount of fat which still makes these rabbit hot wings a good LCHF option. Having said that, chicken wings with the skin on has almost six times more fat, so they are really a better choice if you need to increase your fat uptake.
Rabbit Forelegs (2 lbs): Calories – 1682, fat 20 grams, protein 198 grams, carbohydrates 0 grams
Chicken Wings (2 lbs): Calories – 2091, fat 113 grams, protein 246 grams, carbohydrates 0 grams
Remember, if you are eating LCHF / Keto, the chicken wings would probably be a better choice if you had to choose between the two. Fortunately for us, we do not have to choose and all I can say it that the rabbit “wings” were fantastic.
As I have mentioned before, I love my Instantpot. Whether you have an Instantpot or other electric pressure cooker, you can make delicious hot wings in 30 to 45 minutes that both you and your family will love by following this simple recipe. Heck, you can have a big batch of LCHF / Keto friendly wings ready in less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered. So if you like hot wings, but have been missing out on them because those deep fried, flour coated deliciousness will blow you out of ketosis, then this recipe is for you. So fire up your electric pressure cooker, and turn on your broiler and let us know how you like this recipe.
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