Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's for Dinner: Sticky Chicken Wings

I love when my kids surprise me. I made these Sticky Chicken Wings from Everyday Food for my husband and myself. For the kids, I made chicken nuggets. The reasoning was simple:  the recipe had too many kid strikes against it. First, the wings themselves. Visible bones are generally a huge turn off with my kids. Next, the "sticky" factor. It's borderline odd how much they dislike getting dirty while they eat. And anything that looks like it could get them dirty seems to be a deterrent for them. And then there are the ingredients - a jalapeno pepper? Fish sauce? I shudder to think of the reaction should they ask what was in the sauce.

So, I was quite pleased with myself that I had the foresight to make them something I knew they would approve of, while my husband and I enjoyed something I figured we would like. I set the plates down, and everyone started eating. My daughter was the first one to notice something was amiss.

Daughter: "What are you eating?"
Me: "Chicken wings."
Daughter: "They look good."
Me: "They are. Do you want to try one?"
Daughter: "Ok....(taking a tentative bite). Mmmm!" (stealing the wing from my hand)
Son: "I try one too!"
Me (eyeing the dwindling number of wings on my plate): "Oh... sure."
Son: "Mmm! Yummy!"
Daughter: "Why didn't you make us these?"

And so it goes. The chicken nuggets were no match for the sweet and salty wings. As an aside, I have never had wings turn out this well from my kitchen. They always seem to get watered down and rubbery. These came out of the oven with a truly crispy exterior and a rich glaze. I made it a dinner by serving them with brown rice and shelled edamame, but this would be a perfect snack for a game or party. I'll definitely be making these again - this time, for everybody.

Sticky Chicken Wings
from Everyday Food
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed and peeled
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise
2 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at joint (wing tips removed)

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, whisk together brown sugar, fish sauce, lemon juice, and soy sauce until sugar dissolves, 2 minutes. Add ginger, pepper and chicken wings; toss to coat. Arrange wings in a single layer.
2. Bake wings 1 hour. Increase heat to 450 and bake until sauce is reduced and wings are glazed, 30 to 35 minutes more, turning wings occasionally. Serve with additional sliced jalapeno, if desired.

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