Wings Two Ways

Happy Monday, friends!

I spent most of yesterday being a grumpy grouch and then, for no real reason, as I was folding a mountain of laundry at the end of the day, my mood lifted! It’s the darnedest thing how my mood changes so quickly for no reason but I’m happy to be happy today. Must have been that soothing process of laundry folding 😉 (except I’m only half joking – I actually really love doing laundry!).

Saturday was a big kitchen use day in our house. After the less than perfect muffin fiasco, Will comes in and announces that he wants to have people over for dinner to have wings.

So it became wings night. I mentioned it before, but it can definitely be repeated, Will and I eat almost none of the same foods. Wings? His personal favorite, not something I even take a bite of.

“But wait,” he says. “What if I made you tofu wings?”

How cute is that?

A while ago my mom sent me a recipe for tempeh wings and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. I’ve never actually had tempeh before, though. I’m a pretty adventurous eater and I was pretty sure that if I ever tried it, it I would like it. However, I happen to think that it looks like a brain in its raw form so I usually go the safe route and just get tofu.

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See? It kind of looks like a brain. Or is it just me?

The recipe I used came from here. It was really very easy to make. I just read through it a couple of times and followed it pretty much to a T.

First you cut the “brain” into pieces and then boil these for about 15 minutes then dip each in a soymilk, a flour and spice mixture, soymilk again then panko bread crumbs. Easy! As Will was getting the fryer ready for the real wings, I popped mine in the over for 10 minutes on each side. I always prefer to have my foods baked, not fried. But that’s just me.

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Will, on the other hand, will not eat baked wings. They must be deep fried. But I’ve got to hand it to him, he’s pretty pro with wing creation and I’ll take his word on cooking meat any day.

While this blog is very much about my personal view of health and how I eat and live to maintain that, I can’t keep Will’s wing recipe a secret from the world forever. That would be selfish.

A couple of years ago, our roommate had the impulsive desire to buy a deep fryer. It was big and industrial and came with a propane tank. There are still horrible grease stains all over our backyard even now, two years later. The first wings that came out of that fryer were pretty good but they have come so far since. It took a couple of rounds to figure out how long to leave them in and we went through an embarrassing amount of butter to make our first buffalo sauces before we got that right. The deep fryer became kind of a fad and we had more than a few parties that were centered around it. I was the official taste tester for the Fry Anything party. Let me just say that I really wish I did not know how good deep fried cookie dough tastes. I had to eat some weird things that day. Deep fried muffins (actually really good), deep fried Captain Crunch, deep fried string cheese (not as good as it sounds). We also experimented with a batter to make it crispy but that ended up being more like have a dough as the outer layer than a crispy crunch. Perfect for the cookie dough, though.

Recently Will really has really found his groove with these wings. We have a new deep fryer now but it’s so hideous I can’t even show you a picture. It lives in shame outside and has withstood over a year of wind, rain and dog and, despite it all, keeps working like brand new. It looks like it’s seen the apocalypse, though, hence no picture. You don’t need to see such unsanitary cooking conditions lol.

First, a note on chicken wings. The meat you purchase must actually be chicken wings and it must be room temperature. Without fail, every time we have a wing party, some idiot brings a case of frozen drumsticks and then gets mad when told that a) those aren’t wings and b) deep frying something frozen will cause it to explode. I’ve seen it happen (drumstick bearers tend to be very stubborn people) and it’s not that fun to watch. Plus, it destroys your food.

Unlike the tempeh wings, these take little more time to prepare. Will makes several different kinds at once, but today I’m just going to be highlighting the original.

Assemble your prep station. This will include:

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* Egg wash: 2 cups milk mixed with an egg
* Flour mixture: 2 cups flour with salt and pepper and your choice of spices (I believe Will uses onion powder, paprika and garlic powder but he won’t tell me the exact mix)
* Raw chicken wings
* Plate(s)

You want to assemble everything before you start because you’re about to get salmonella hands and can’t be rushing around to find another plate when the first one fills up.

The chicken goes into the flour…

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…to the egg wash…

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…back to the flour…

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…and finally to the plate.

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After you’ve breaded all the wings, place the plates in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

Dance with your dog in the meantime.

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When time’s up and the deep fryer has been preheated to 325 degrees, you can drop the wings in and fry until golden. I believe this takes about 15 minutes but you’ll know by the color. If they look done, they are. It also takes a long time to burn in a deep fryer. You’re just increasing the crunch the longer you wait.

Finally, sauce your wings. I recommend a buffalo or barbecue sauce but the choices are endless. The most effective way to coat the wings is to place them in a tupperware and drizzle on the sauce, seal the container and shake, shake, shake.

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By the time the wings were made, our guests were ready to eat and not very interested in letting photos be taken first lol.

I don’t eat these wings any more but they are always 100% devoured by every single person who tries them. It puts me to shame because nothing I make is as well known by our friends as these wings. So even though they’re not what I choose to eat, I know lots of people do and I’m always in the business of sharing good food!

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