Wingers

Good wings cannot be rushed. They take 50 minutes in the oven, at a minimum. If you try to cook them for less time than that you are missing out on their inherent awesomeness.

I roast chicken wings drizzled with a little olive oil and tossed about with a pinch of salt and pepper. I cook them at 350*F on low fan for 40 minutes, stirring once. Then they get a quick glaze of sauce and go back into the oven on high fan to allow the sauce to caramelize and get all sticky good. Ten minutes of cooling time and they’re lick-able. It is worth every minute.

This version of honey garlic is a little different and a little quicker to throw together than my previous one (which calls for roasted garlic and makes a larger batch size for a stir-fry sauce). I sometimes glaze wings with BBQ sauce instead, or equal parts honey and sriracha, or serrano pepper jelly made from the garden stuff this summer.

** please note: most soy sauce is NOT gluten free. Make sure you check the ingredients. I recommend and prefer either Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Tamari style soy **

Hope you can read my chicken scratch. If you cannot make something out feel free to……. wing it! ūüôā

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chicken cacciatore

 
mirepoix – 1 part onion, 2 parts each celery and carrot
 

One of the reasons I¬†get excited about the weekend is because it means that¬†I finally have time to braise something. Yay! Of course I¬†sometimes will¬†break it down in stages and get ‘er done during the week but it is so much more satisfying to create a braised dish start to finish all in the same day. Chicken cacciatore¬†ranks up there as¬†one of my favorites. My mom would often prepare chicken cacciatore¬†on Sundays and after coming home from church the house would be filled with the aroma of garlic, tomatoes, and goodness. She would make us wait until supper to eat it and by that time it would smell so good that even though I was the pickiest eater alive even I could not resist having a little drizzle of the sauce on my usually plain spaghetti. Over the years my pickiness¬†has obviously abated somewhat and I now eat this dish with such gusto that I always regret not making a larger batch. I love to cook it all year round. In the summer¬†my garden yields most of the necessary ingredients (the ones I might lack I can usually finagle¬†from my friends mom’s garden out in Ridgeville).¬†In the winter I make it to use up my canned tomatoes and dried herbs. MMMmmmmmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. Alright, without further adieu, here it is. My very own recipe for the best chicken cacciatore on the planet. If you have a better recipe we’ll just have to fight it out. I don’t mind making two test batches. More for me to eat!

chicken cacciatore

4 chicken legs or 6 thighs (skin on, backbone off)

1/2 cup flour

Salt and Pepper

 

Cooking oil as needed

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

 1 bottle wine, maybe two. red or white. whatever is available.

2 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

good pinch each of dried parsley, thyme, basil and oregano

 cooked pasta to serve with

 

crusty bread and butter to really round the meal out.

Toss the chicken in a bowl with flour and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper until well coated. Heat up a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces on at a time taking care not to crowd the pan overly much. When the pieces are well browned remove them to a plate. Use the same pan to saute the veg and garlic until it is cooked about halfway through. Place the tomatoes and tomato paste in a slow cooker. Add the sauteed veg. Deglaze the pan with a good few glugs of wine. Pour yourself a glass. Stir everything up then nestle the chicken thighs into the mixture. Sprinkle a schwak of herbs over everything. Put the lid on and turn the slow cooker to high heat for at least four hours. Sit down and drink the rest of the bottle of wine. Cook the noodles at some point. Lazily. Check on the chicken in a little while. Maybe take the lid off for the last hour of cooking to let the mixture reduce a little bit. When the chicken is very tender carefully remove it from the pot of the slow cooker. Toss the noodles in with the sauce and give it a good stir. Open a second bottle of wine. Eat and drink with gusto.

mise en place
floured chicken fry fry
what a beautiful color
the veg

 

 

cold kicker

I am not hugely fond of posting other people’s recipes on here, but this one I just want to share with the world. Every time I make this soup its goodness BLOWS MY MIND! Seriously, it is amazing. I suggest that anyone reading this immediately run to the store, buy the ingredients (if you don’t have them on hand) and then make this soup. It is a pretty straight forward recipe but the resulting flavors meld together so perfectly that I find it hard to pick out individual tastes within the broth. It is just …. perfect soup!

I am not entirely sure where this recipe comes from, so if anyone recognizes it please let me know the author to give props to. I was only given a photocopied page by a friend who turned me on to this little gem. Thank you Tray, my life will never be the same.

*note: I have edited this recipe very slightly. This is one of only a very few recipes that I actually follow. Where it calls for spaghettini I do tend to¬†substitute rice noodles and I also cut them up with a few snips of the ol’ scissors after cooking them. I prefer eating this soup with a spoon. I also use whatever chicken I have on hand. Usually a few chicken legs get dropped into the pot after peeling the skin off of them. You could also use a turkey leg if you had one kicking around. ha. haha.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Spaghettini is a good stand-in for Asian  noodles, but if you can find rice noodles, by all means use them here. Serve the soup in deep bowls with chopsticks or forks as well as spoons. Eat the noodles first and then drink the soup in the Asian manner. Or, to use a spoon only and eat everything together, break the pasta into small pieces before cooking.

Serves 4

1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 onion, sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced on the bias

4 cloves garlic, green germ removed and slice very thinly

1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced very thinly

2 Tbsp chili powder

pinch dried red pepper flakes

1 1/2 L chicken stock

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 Tbsp nam pla or nuoc mam (fish sauce)

1 tsp salt

1/2 lb spaghettini, cooked

1/2 head bok choy or green cabbage, sliced

juice of 2 limes

1. In a large heavy pot, heat up both oils over moderate heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the broth, tomatoes, chicken, fish sauce, salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken; when it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Continue cooking the soup for 15 minutes longer.

3. Add the bok choy or cabbage; bring back to a simmer. Cook until just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Devour.

** the recipe also calls for the addition of 1 cup cilantro leaves plus another 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to garnish. I don’t really enjoy cilantro, but if it’s your thing add the 1 cup of leaves after you add the broth. Garnish with the chopped leaves after portioning into individual bowls.