It’s been a while since we’ve done a recipe.
Part of that is because I’ve been busy recomposing my list of go-to ingredients over the last year or so. It’s been a bit of a challenge, as most new things are. Then I remember how much better I feel and I get up and do it again the next day.
Growing past a few personal tendencies toward food fundamentalism has been the biggest challenge for me. I’ve discovered, deep inside, how to join together the new things I’ve learned and the individual quirks I bring to the journey, all in relationship with a gluten-free, diabetic husband who’s fond of 1000 Island salad dressing in a jar!
Learning where it works to wander occasionally toward the fringes, and where it really doesn’t, in light of the future I long for.
We made a bit of a trip in the direction of the fringes on the 4th of July.
I wanted fried chicken. It’s probably a genetic thing. (At least a recent one!) I did not want belly aches and swollen ankles. I did not want carb cravings or chemicals or trans fats.
Homemade was clearly in order.
The best wings I could buy. A few extra for the stock pot. Some research and a new theory for the dredging part of the plan. An extra set of hands in the kitchen.
Sadly, I did not take a picture. When I suggested a do-over “for artistic purposes”, Bill immediately volunteered to go to the Farmers’ Market. So, here, just for you…
Grammy’s Best Wings Ever
Serves 2-3 adults for a main course.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
1-1 1/2 pounds chicken wings per person. Local, pastured, sustainably raised, wing tips removed and discarded if needed.
1 c. organic brown rice flour. (Or white, if you prefer.)
2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder.
2 tsp. good Celtic sea salt, plus extra for finishing.
1 tsp. freshly ground black or mixed peppercorns.
1 tsp. dried thyme.
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper, if desired.
1 – 2 tsp. lemon zest, if desired.
Good, imported olive oil or other oil of your choice for frying. (You really can fry in olive oil!)
About 1/2 hour to 45 min. before cooking, remove wings from fridge and bring to cool room temp.
Mix all dry ingredients, plus lemon zest, if desired, in a medium sized bowl, adjusting seasoning as desired.
Heat about 1 inch of olive oil in large skillet, preferably cast iron, over just less than highest heat, adjusting to avoid smoking.
Toss about a quarter of the wing pieces in flour mix to coat.
Place wings in sieve and tap off extra flour.
Using tongs, add wings to hot skillet. (Be careful. They’ll pop!)
Fry until nicely golden brown and turn to second side. Continue to fry until golden brown.
Remove to sheet tray lined with parchment paper and a rack, if desired.
Continue coating and frying wing pieces until all are finished. (I used 2 trays with racks for this amount.)
Roast wings in hot oven for 10 minutes.
Remove, checking a larger piece for doneness. Roast an extra 1-2 min. if needed.
Re-season with good sea salt.
Sprinkle with hot sauce if desired.
This is not the way my mom made fried chicken. Nor the way my grandmother did it. It is a way that meets all those same sentimental, emotional needs for me, and Bill loves it, too.
Juicy. Tasty. Oddly hospitable.
Serve with lots of veg!
No guilt. No belly aches. No hobbling around the morning after.
Or, as my Food Network buddies would say, recalling historic Las Vegas: Winner, winner chicken dinner!
Next, we try fish!