Saturday, March 8, 2014

wings and things

wing dings and things

We are creatures of habit I reckon.  We like the things we like and as we age, it becomes more of the same.  Here's a funny.  When I was a kid I ate basically nothing.  And then when I got older my metabolism was such that I could eat a piece of pie and walk across the street and said pie would vanish.  When I hit 30 however, the pie (and its accompanying ice cream) decided to stay and linger.  Making me a cartoonish figure with chicken legs and a belly.  This became a problem, quite, after I had kids and people were asking me when I was due.  (Note, this is NEVER okay to do.  I mean, ever.  Ever.  Even if a woman is screaming in labor, do NOT ask her if she is pregnant.  Every jury with a woman on it would never convict a woman who decided to answer in a not so ladylike way.  Trust me on this.)

My husband, on the other hand, can eat whatever he wants and maintain his figure.  And he loves hot wings.  LOVES them.  So every weekend, I make hot wings.  And guacamole.  And we call it a day.    

Want in?  Hmm?  Of course you do, you are a very, very intelligent audience with extremely refined palates, I can tell.

I learned the old fashioned way, with a dutch oven and oil.  And Ree Drummond.  You can click on the link right on her name and get her step by step on how to do this.  I mean, I want to give credit where credit is due.  She taught me how to make wings and Lucinda Scala Quinn taught me how to fry chicken.  My husband is equally indebted to both.  But that's another matter entirely.  First things first, the chicken wings:

  • 12-14 chicken wing drummettes (I get mine in vacuum sealed packs from whole foods but you can get them flash frozen in bags as well), thawed, rinsed and dried. 
  • 3 Tb unsalted butter
  • Franks Original Hot Sauce (NO buffalo wing sauce!  That is bad, very bad!)
  • Tabasco 
  • Canola oil for frying

  • Dutch oven
  • Long tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Medium saucepan
  • Splatter screen

1. Cut up the wings at the joint
First break down your wings if you've bought them vacuum packed.  Cut them at the joint as shown.  If you've bought them flash frozen, just make sure they are as dry as you can get them with paper towels.  Fill your dutch oven with 2 to 3 cups of canola oil.  Set on medium high heat.  Let the oil get hot.

2. place in heated canola oil

Place the wings in the heated canola oil, carefully with your tongs.  Set your timer for about 12 minutes.  Keep stirring them to make sure they don't stick to the bottom.  Be careful!  Use a splatter screen if you have one.

3. halfway point, not pretty (12 min.)   
You can see the wings at this stage are really sickly and gross.  Be patient.  It will be good. You can look through a magazine.  Have some iced earl grey and look through a catalog.  (If your husband hasn't recycled them, that is.  Otherwise you might be stuck with AutoWeek.)  Set the timer for an additional 12 minutes and be sure to stir often so the wings don't stick.  

By the 24 minute mark, turn off the heat, and drain the wings on a paper towel.
4. allow to rest on paper towel

5. trifecta of goodness.  
You will need the following for the sauce and you need a saucepan to first melt the butter over medium heat, and WATCH IT!  This burns fast.  As soon as it is melted add about a 1/3 of the big bottle of Franks or a 1/2 of the smaller bottle.  Stir and turn off the heat.  Then add some tabasco.  How many drops depends on how hot you can handle it.  You are in control.  Go for it.
7. take off heat, add tobasco 
and stir to combine
6. melt the butter first 
then add hot sauce

Then simply toss the wings in the hot sauce to combine and serve with...guacamole!
8. add to wings to sauce and combine.

Now for the guacamole.  One of the women I taught with in Connecticut gave me this recipe.  It's as simple as simple gets and pretty yummy, unless you don't like garlic, in which case you may want to avoid the food portion of my blog altogether.  (I'm THAT much of a fan of the stuff.)  You need two ripe avocados, a little kosher salt, a clove of raw garlic and half a lime.  Here we go.
                                                    The basics for guacamole: peeled garlic clove, 
                                                    two ripe avocados, kosher salt and a lime. 
                                                   (The picture of the robot warrior and legos are entirely 
                                                   optional supporting players in this. As are the wipes. Yesch.)

Step 1: Grate the garlic. (I'm using a hand held grater.  Alternatively, you could  finely chop it and make a paste from it.)                                                            

Step 2: sprinkle some kosher salt in the bowl and mash the garlic and salt together with a fork.

Step 3: add the avocados in. Stir with a fork to combine.

Step 4: Finally, add the juice of half a lime. (I'm using a citrus reamer.) 

So there you have it.  Now you will be revered at every sports gathering.  People will call your name with awe and wonder.  You will be fêted beyond your wildest dreams.  

(In all seriousness, though, people will be happier than usual having you at the party.  I promise.)  Now eat and make merry and let me know how it all turned out.  Cheers!

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