Sometimes praise comes at unlikely moments. Like during a slapped-together Tuesday night "dinner" consisting of a heap of steamed asparagus and a messy bowl of unattractive, sticky-sweet chicken wings.
"This might be my one of my favorite foods you've ever made," J declares seriously, licking sauce off his fingers. He even declines a movie with dinner so he can "concentrate on this amazing chicken."
It's hard not to measure success in moments like these. If only success in pairing oneself with such a generous palate.
Sweet Soy-Glazed Chicken Wings
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
3 scallions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1/4 cup peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
8-10 whole chicken wings (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
To prepare wings, take a sharp knife or kitchen shears and cut off the wing tip (I freeze the tips to use later for stock) , then cut at the joint, separating the drummette and the wingette. If desired, trim off excess flaps of skin. (This recommendation is not particularly for health purposes - I just don't care for the texture of extra skin in this recipe.)
Combine fist nine ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly until sugar dissolves; Add wings and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for one hour at room temperature, or up to overnight in the fridge (though your scallions will lose some texture).
Remove wings from marinade and place in a separate bowl. Warm up a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat; add oil to the pan. When oil is hot, pour in the marinade; when the mixture begins to foam, arrange the chicken wings in the pan so that they are all touching the bottom. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, turning wings periodically to prevent sticking. After 20 minutes, if sauce seems thin, cook uncovered for remaining time.
Serve hot, with extra sauce and plenty of napkins.
*I wasn't measuring, so all amounts are approximated. Feel free to do your own estimating!