Sunday, October 20, 2013

ginger-soy glazed chicken wings

The NFL is the center of our world on Sundays. Whether it's watching the Patriots play, obsessively checking our record in the picks pool, or flipping between games to cheer on our fantasy football teams (I have one, my husband has...a lot more), it's all football all the time.

Often times, I'll make a roast on Sunday because it generally takes very little attention (more time to devote to football!), and it's also good to have leftover meat hanging around for lunches or dinners. This week I wasn't really feeling the roast love though. I wanted something football-y, for lack of a better term - some kind of finger food that was fun and different. Typical football fare around these parts includes chicken wings, pizza, nachos and chili. Pizza and nachos were out (we don't need the grains), and since I'd already had a dose of chili at brunch with a friend, chicken wings were sounding like just the ticket.

Lo and behold, when I got to the grocery store they had fresh chicken wings on sale! Jackpot! I picked up a dozen and then spent some time obsessing over teriyaki sauces. They were all full of sugar, or worse, HFCS. Do not want! I know traditional teriyaki is supposed to have pineapple juice in it, but again...way too sweet, at least for me. I decided screw it - teriyaki minus the sweetness is just basically a combination of soy and ginger. I'd subscribe to my own personal motto of "how bad can it go?" and just wing it with a soy ginger marinade from scratch.

For the marinade, I used:

1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1.5 tsp fresh grated ginger
1.5 tsp fresh grated garlic
1 tbsp white wine (I used some chardonnay I had lingering in the fridge - dry sherry would be really good here, too)
2 tsp dark brown sugar
3 scallions, green and white parts both, chopped

I whisked it all together and threw the chicken wings in to marinate for about 20 minutes. Yes, yes, I hear you screaming about how there's added sugar, but a) it's a SHITLOAD less sugar per serving than in all the bottled sauces I looked at, b) it's real sugar, not HFCS pseudo-sugar, and c) the sauce needed a little bit of sugar to cook down to a glaze-y consistency. Besides, I never said I wanted totally un-sweet wings - I said I didn't want gratuitous amounts of sugar or a sickly-sweet end product.

ANYWAY.

The wings soaked for about 20 minutes, then I put them on a rack on a cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes was up, I turned the cookie sheet around to ensure even cooking and set the timer for another 15 minutes. I also took the leftover marinade and brought it to a boil for a few minutes, letting it reduce down to about 1/3 its original volume. This glaze then got spooned over the wings as they baked for their last ten minutes. I steamed some broccoli to go with, and when the wings were done it was time to eat!

Wings and football!
I was really pleased with how these turned out. I could have easily let them marinate for longer, and I think that starting them off in a hotter oven to crisp the skin up more would have been a plus, but the important part was that these had great flavor without the sickly sweetness of bottled teriyaki. A+, would nom again!