My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's all about the food....

At least it is around here - most of the time. I spent the majority of the weekend cooking. And playing... It's all good.

First up from a cooking perspective, I have FINALLY mastered chicken wings. If you have ever tried to make your own hot wings, or any other kind, you know that it is difficult to make a really really good wing.

My definition of really really good means that sucker is DONE. Doneitty, done , done, done... and crispy. Where there is no part of the wing that you *don't* want to eat. Anybody who has ever ordered wings (out of desperation or whatever) from a pizza place knows what I am talking about. I don't care how long they have been baked - I usually would end up baking them for an additional 45 minutes or more and I *still* wouldn't be happy.

Since my favorite place for wings is Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3's) and the nearest one is over an hour away and a pain in the butt to get to - I have been trying to figure out how to duplicate their methods.

The solution? A two part cooking process. First you bake the wings - then you "hard fry" them. And you know what?? They are perfect...

So, here we go - 5 pounds of frozen chicken wings straight out if the bag and coated with a bit of oil (to prevent sticking) and seasoned with salt and pepper....

Into a 350 degree oven they go, for about an hour and a half. I usually drain of the excess liquid about half way through.

Here they are after baking, all married up on one pan.

While they are baking, I am making my sauces - when you are ready to serve, it's time for a dip in the deep fryer (about 8 minutes) and then you can toss in the sauce of your choice and serve hot.
These were three of the four varieties I served this weekend. I am cooking a gig for around 125 in a couple of months, and wings definitely have made the menu. We thought we could narrow the sauces I would be using down to two - but between you and me?? They are all so good I think we will use all four.

On the left - Buffalo Style. The sauce I have found to be the best of the best is Ott's Wing Sauce. Here is a review. The only part of the review I would disagree with is his description of the level of heat - I think it's pretty dang hot. But then I am not a "chile head." YMMV.

In the center are Teriyaki Wings. I got the recipe for the sauce here - and me being me I couldn't *not* tweak it a little. So I added about two heaping tablespoons of minced garlic. Can I just say? It's fabulous. Sweet, salty, savory... Really really yummy.

On the right are the Sweet BBQ Wings. The sauce is one I use for my Hickory Ham Sandwiches and the kids especially loved loved loved them. They are VERY user friendly - even if you have to go through a bunch of napkins.

The one kind not pictured (because they were eaten before I could snap one) were the Garlic Wings. If you like Garlic - you will loooooove these. I saw this guy making what he called Scampi Butter on a TV Show and decided that it would be a great accompaniment for wings. Since he didn't provide a recipe - I just watched the guy and made my own...

Scampi Butter

2 sticks Butter
1 shallot finely minced
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs. white Wine
2 Tbs. Lemon juice

For the wings (8-10), I took 2-3 Tbs of regular butter and over Medium high heat flash fried a heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic. As soon as the wings come out of the fryer into a sauce tossing bowl add another heaping tablespoon or two of the scampi butter and finish with the flash fried garlic. It. is. amazing.

Later I was cooking for a deal at my Hubby's store. They were doing Product Inventory last night and I have found that people are happier if you feed them. Imagine that. And it doesn't have to be anything fancy - I prepped four trays of Ham and Turkey Sandwiches (like this one)...

Did a nice tray of condiments, pickles, tomatoes, onions, blah, blah, blah... Two Gooey Cakes, Three pans of Turtle Brownies, and the Mother of all Macaroni and Cheese...

Believe me when I say that sucker must have weighed fifty pounds. I should know because I was the one who schlepped it in and out of the oven. And to the store housed in my handy dandy Nesco Roaster. And you know that not a noodle came home...

By that fact alone I would say that the weekend was a culinary success. Oh an look - it's almost lunchtime! Time to get back in the game!