Saturday, July 3, 2010
Sweet Chili Lime Wings and Bok Choy & Radish Stir Fry
Wings are an easy weeknight dinner, not to mention that I can cook the wings earlier in the day and warm them up for saucing later when everybody's hungry. And no one sees me sneak a cold wing or seven while waiting for said dinner time...
Normally I bake my wings, not fry them. I do this for two reasons:
(1) Frying is not particularly healthy for you...yes, fried tastes better and yields a way, way tastier texture on the wings, but baking (if done right) can come pretty darned close. Not exact, but close.
(2) Deep frying frightens me. One day, I will blow something up by accident. Once I tried to deep fry fish nuggets in my trusty cast iron dutch oven and I either burned them or they didn't cook completely. Deep frying is an art that I am still working to master. I am much more comfortable skillet-frying my way into dinner. Yet, I will continue to face my fear of frying in more than 2 inches of oil without whimpering in the corner.
I decided to fry the wings this time and face my fear of frying. It worked out pretty well. The texture was just about perfect and not too greasy.
I decided to experiment with a new sauce this time too. We always have the standard buffalo wing sauce, although the brand may vary from time to time. We have tried (and liked):
* Crystal Hot Sauce and (melted) butter
* Budweiser Wing Sauce (even though I hate their beer other than American Ale)
* Crystal Wing Sauce
This time, however, I wanted to veer away from the traditional buffalo sauce and try something different. I knew going into this that I was forbidden from making a strictly asian-type of sauce (i.e., using soy sauce in any way, shape or form) because the probability of Papa Bear eating them or liking them would drop below a 30% chance. He has issues with soy sauce that I shall save for another time...
I wanted sweet and spicy instead of just rip-your-tongue-out spicy. I decided on a maple syrup/chili sauce/lime sauce. It was a little too sweet for Papa Bear and Crazy Artist, but everyone else thought it was pretty darned good. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.
Instead of the standard celery and carrot sticks with dressing, I decided to mix it up and do a quick stir fry with some bok choy and radish. I cooked until just warm and slightly tender, but it still had a nice crunch to it. I also threw in a little shallot and lemon pepper for some zing.
All in all, this was really enjoyable. Wings are always on our dinner rotation, and I think the sauce and stir fry side will be too...
Chili Lime Wings
3 pounds whole chicken wings
1 cup real maple syrup (not pancake syrup!)
1 cup chili sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
Oil for frying
Cut the wings into three sections and discard the wing tips. In a deep skillet or dutch oven, heat oil to 375. While the oil is heating, combine flour, salt, paprika, pepper and chili powder in a large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Add wings a few at a time and shake to coat.
Fry wings in batches for 8-12 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Drain on paper towels. You can stop at this point if you choose. You can refrigerate the wings until you're almost ready to eat; just heat your oven to 375 and heat the wings on a single layer on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. If you can't wait for wing-y goodness, continue to the next step.
In a medium saucepan, combine maple syrup, chili sauce, lime juice and mustard and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until liquid has reduced to about 1 cup. Transfer hot wings to a big bowl; add sauce mixture and toss to coat. Eat immediately or serve to your family...
Bok Choy & Radish Stir Fry
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 head of Bok Choy
15-20 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
Cut off root end of bok choy; you can use this as a garnish (as I did) if it looks particularly pretty. If not, discard the root end. Cut leaves from stalks and cut into one inch slices. Cut stalks into one inch pieces.
In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium high heat. When butter is melted, add bok choy and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the radishes, shallot, salt and lemon pepper. Cook and stir for about 3-4 minutes or until heated through.