Monday, January 02, 2006

Learning to listen to the kitchen gods

Glazed Chicken Wings
The Essential Appetizers Cookbook Copyright 1999

4 lb chicken wings
½ cup barbecue sauce
½ cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1. Trim the excess far from the wings. Stir the barbecue sauce, jam, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, oil and garlic in a small pan over low heat until just combined. Cool slightly, pour over chicken wings and mix well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Drain the excess marinade from the wings and reserve. Bake the wings in a lightly greased baking dish for 45 minutes. To prevent sticking, you can add a little water. Turn halfway through the cooking time, brushing occasionally with the reserved marinade.

This recipe has been calling to me for years. Yes, they're just chicken wings but they look so nice in the picture in the cookbook. I thought they would be fruity, sweet and sticky. But I don't think this recipe was meant to be and I should have listened to the kitchen gods who tried to stop it from happening.

All was going well, except seeing 'barbecue sauce' in a recipe always makes me pause. (Do they mean sweet and spicy barbecue sauce? Sweet and tangy? Smokey? There are so many different barbecue sauces.) But I chose my most neutral barbecue sauce, whipped up the marinade in no time and set the wings to marinate for several hours. Then I put the wings in the oven and not long afterwards I heard the sound I knew I would someday hear. Glass breaking. Yes, my Pyrex dish exploded. It happened to my sister on Easter once and I've heard of it happening to others so I knew exactly what was happening without opening the oven door (good thing because the glass continued to 'pop'.

So here is was, New Year's Eve, and this was the main nibble we were having. So I sent hubby out for more chicken wings, a feat only slightly less daunting to this man than asking him to find Jimmy Hoffa. Two phone calls and a screaming match later, I had more chicken wings but there was no time to marinate them.

So maybe that was why these wings were lackluster but I don't think so. These were just chicken wings with sweet barbecue sauce. Edible but nothing special. I wanted the apricot jam to stand out but it didn't.

I hate that I was disappointed by the first recipe I've tried from this cookbook. This is from the same series as The Essential Pasta Cookbook and I've been drooling over the gorgeous pictures in this book for years, dreaming of the fancy cocktail parties I could have, if I was the type of person to throw cocktail parties, which I'm not. But I won't give up on this cookbook after just one so-so recipe. I'll give it another chance.

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