FOOTBALL FOOD aka chicken wings
There are people who buy a rack just to cook bacon. Perfect, beautifully browned and delicious bacon. There are others who buy it to cool cookies, or roast vegetables for a super healthy diet. Then there are the foodies and sports enthusiasts who know that the best way to cook wings is on a rack.
Chicken wings are consistently found on lists of the most unhealthy food to eat, but they get a bad rap. In my cookbook, Fifty Nifty Recipes, I explain why chicken wings, certainly not health food by any means, are not the evil food they are made out to be. At least half of the fat in chicken skin is considered ‘good’ fat, and when cooked on a rack, a large amount of the fat is cooked off, left behind on your foil-lined baking sheet, leaving a much leaner and healthier treat. Crisp or sticky it is a trip to Nirvana. Not a license to eat dozens of them, to be sure, but a guilt free treat in moderation-especially if you are watching football!
There are many ways to fix them: crock pot, deep fry, pan fry, a rack on a BBQ,(our favorite) a baking pan, and on a rack in the oven (also my favorite, since we sell racks and eat wings in the winter when we can’t BBQ). The healthiest of them, of course, is baking on a rack.
Cooking for a crowd, the Alton Brown way!!!
Alton Brown has suggested a very healthy way to fix them. Steam the wings for 10 minutes, cool for a few hours in the refrigerator on a rack, and then cook on the rack. That reduces the amount of fat even more, dries out the moisture and gives you a crispy skin, reducing the amount of time needed to cook. Handy when you have a party and need to produce large quantities of wings for hungry guests. Now, you can either bake them on a rack in the oven, or grill on your BBQ!!!
For the Alton Brown chicken wings,
Prepare by steaming for about 10 minutes then refrigerating for a few hours or overnight as explained above. Lightly oil, then lay the oiled wings on the rack. Place rack on foil lined half sheet baking pan and put in oven that has been preheated to 400° F. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and coat with sauce if desired. Place oven on broil, return wings to oven and broil for about5-7 minutes more.The wings will brown and crisp more and the flavor will be amazing.
You can also use a savory sauce to dip the wings in before you roast and then 20 minutes later coat or dip a second time and broil at the end.
Make sauce, and enjoy!
THE SWEET SAUCE!!!
A sweet sauce for a glaze or to dip! You can use this glaze on chicken, pork, rice, etc.
Add sesame oil,garlic, ginger, and olive oil to small saucepan over medium low and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Add red pepper flakes, orange marmalade and hoisin sauce and cook stirring for about 5 minutes
Use as glaze in the last few minutes of cooking the wings, or as a dip for the super crisp wings.
THE SAVORY ASIAN SAUCE
This is a delicious sauce that can be used on thighs, drummies, or chicken breast, pork, or roasted vegetables.
Whisk ingredients together in sauce pan, bring to boil and cook at a low boil for a few minutes.
Dip wings in sauce before putting on rack, then brush them again if desired half way through.
A MORE SIMPLE WAY TO DRESS YOUR WINGS. Healthier, too.
There are many dry rubs in the market place. A dry rub for BBQ, lemon pepper, and a multitude of other flavors. They are all good, depending on your taste.
With your rub of choice, rub chicken wings before cooking. Roast according to directions, removing when done. There are some rubs that are delicious on their own, such as the lemon pepper, and others that beg to have a sauce baked on them in the last few minutes…BBQ. If using a BBQ sauce, brush or dip wings in sauce, then return to oven to bake or broil until nicely browned. Use BBQ sauce on the side if desired. OR…..dip in a ranch dressing, blue cheese dip, etc. How healthy is up to you, but these can be very lean and low sugar yet intensely flavorful if you want.
Enjoy that game, win the appetizer contest, or have an awesome dinner, because clean up is a snap! Another way to Live-Nimble!!
- Nancy Oar