Friday, March 6, 2009

Winging it.

Well, this was supposed to be a post about veal marsala. Every week I eagerly await the the new food ads for the grocery stores in my area - Winn Dixie, Publix, Sweetbay, Bravo Supermarket. They all used to arrive in the mailbox every Tuesday like clockwork, but now I usually just view the ads online since half the stores don't send them anymore.

Because we live about 10 miles from town, before I leave the house, I plan where to go and what I'm fixing for dinner based on what's on sale.

Yesterday I had planned a trip to the Bravo for veal shoulder chops for $2.99 a pound. I was going to remove the meat from the bones, pound it into scallopini and make one of our favorite meals - veal marsala with mushrooms and capers, polenta, Italian bread and a romaine salad.

When I got to the store, however, they did not have the veal. This happens more often than it should in my opinion, not just at that store but at most of them and it's annoying. Why advertise an item you aren't going to stock?

Anyway, after considering the choices, I decided to head over to the Winn Dixie for chicken wings instead. They are on sale for $1.79. So we ended up with Buffalo chicken wings and a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.

Yes, you can buy the frozen wings which are already cut into "wingettes" but most of them contain a 15% solution of some kind of broth - If I want broth in my chicken, I'd rather do it myself - the fewer chemicals in any given food product, the better, I think.

Cutting the whole wing up doesn't require any particular skill - I use kitchen shears to nip the wing tips off and to disjoint the rest of the wing. If you don't divide it perfectly, who cares?

Buffalo Wings (similar to Hooter's®)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

20 chicken wing segments

1/2 cup butter OR margarine

1/2 cup hot sauce

Oil for deep frying


In a big bowl combine flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and peppers.

Coat chicken entirely in the flour mixture; refrigerate coated wings for 1 hour; coat chicken again with remaining flour mixture or, do what I do and just leave the bowl of flour and chicken wings in the refrigerator and toss them again just before frying.

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat butter and hot sauce just until butter melts; turn heat to low and keep warm on stove top or, just melt the butter and the spices in the microwave.

Shake the wings in a collander to remove excess flour (it just burns in the fryer if you don't.)

Deep-fry chicken, 8 - 10 pieces at a time, in 375 degree oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil) for 13 minutes, turning once or twice.-Drain chicken on a wire cooling rack for 30 seconds, then immediately toss fried chicken in buffalo sauce mixture and remove with a slotted spoon.-Repeat with the second batch of chicken.

Keep the first batch of chicken on a baking sheet in a 300 to 350 degree oven to stay hot while making the second batch.

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing


1 9 ounce bag of pre-washed spinach leaves

6 hard boiled eggs

1/2 to 1 pound thick sliced bacon

1 pint grape tomatoes

1/2 cup bacon grease

1/2 cup cider vinergar

1 tsp. honey (or more if you like sweet dressing)

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the bacon on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels Reserve 1/2 cup of the drippings to make the dressing.

Use as much of the bacon as you like in the salad. I figure our arteries are doomed any way so I usually use it all.

Put the spinach and tomatoes in a large salad bowl along with the sliced hard boiled eggs.

Make the dressing by heating the bacon grease, vinegar and honey in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. You want the dressing to be very hot so it will slightly wilt the spinach.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Bill said...

I've told Willie I want to live under your back steps. You can just toss me scraps. I loves the wings.

Jill said...

They are addictive. We both eat way too many when I make them.
You'd have to arm wrestle Jack for the scraps :)