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Memorial Day tradition calls for lighting up the grill. But there's no rule that says you have to stick to hot dogs and hamburgers.

In a bid to up our game before hosting the annual backyard barbecue, we asked some of the Bay Area's best open flame experts to share their favorite recipes for grilling. Here Ayesha Curry (International Smoke), Ryan Farr (4505 Burgers and BBQ), Robbie Wilson (Bird Dog), and Arun Gupta (Dosa) share four dishes (meat, veg, and even fruit!) that promise a mouthwatering and eclectic feast.


4505 Burgers and BBQ's Harissa Chicken Wings

(Allie McElwee)

You may have tasted these already—the harissa chicken wings make occasional appearances on the menu at 4505 Burgers and BBQ. And according to chef Ryan Farr, "These wings are perfect for a backyard barbecue!"

"The harissa dry rub adds a new dimension to the typical chicken wing," adds Farr, who serves them with a mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce, also known as Alabama white sauce, which is popular throughout the Southeast. "While it's great on all kinds of BBQ, it especially shines with smoked chicken, and it's stellar on chicken wings," Farr says.

// 4505 Meats, 705 Divisadero St. (NoPa), 4505burgersandbbq.com

You will need:

  • 2 cups harissa dry rub* (recipe below)
  • chicken wings, flats and drums divided, tips reserved for stock
  • lemons cut into wedges
  • ½ bunch picked cilantro
  • 2 cups house white BBQ (recipe below)

*Harissa is a North African spice that people often associate with a paste, but this recipe will let you make a dry seasoning powder to toss on your wings before popping them on the grill.

Harissa dry rub:

  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ½ cup ancho powder
  • ⅓ cup granulated garlic
  • ⅓ cup paprika
  • ⅓ cup cayenne
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp chipotle
  • 1 tbsp caraway
  • 1 tbsp red pepper
  • 1.5 tsp fennel
  • 1.5 tsp dry spearmint

Mix together all ingredients and set aside.

House white BBQ sauce:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably Helman's or Best Foods
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno liquid (from a jar or can)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp ground coriander

Mix together all ingredients and set aside.

Method:

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Toss wings with extra virgin olive oil and Harissa spice in a large bowl, and place wings on the grill in a single layer.
  3. Turn wings occasionally, and cook through until skin is crispy, 20 to 35 minutes.
  4. Platter wings and top with cilantro.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and house white BBQ sauce on the side.

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