Monday, September 29, 2014

Putting the "Cock" in Spachcocked Chicken..... and Wings so Good You May Never Go to Hooters Again (or at least for their wings... or something....)

I don't know how those of you with tiny humans do it.

I really don't.

How do you manage a home, work life, trying to eat healthy and maintain a social life with children?

I can barely balance work, home and eating healthy with a dog.

At least with a dog if I'm having a rough day I can just pound back a bottle of two or wine and I know I won't scar her for life.  With kids you have to actively try not to kill them.

I can drunkenly cuddle with my dog, snap her collar and leash on her and stumble down the street to let her out.  I can measure a few scoops of her food and pour them in the bowl while hammered.


I can't even imagine trying to dress a toddler after having consumed your child's weight in shots of Bacardi or a Tonka Truck full of wine.

Fuck that.



I just don't know how anyone in their right mind balances things.

In "holy shit where did this year go?" news, I can't believe fall is here.  It seems like just yesterday I was trading in scarves and boots for t-shirts and flip flops.  Now I'm welcoming the changing of the seasons with open arms and delighted that the air is just a bit cooler.

Fall and winter means cozy candles, cuddling up on the couch watching football, wearing sweaters to hide the "I didn't go to the gym because I was busy drinking wine and making horrible life decisions" layer of fat that was packed on post-4th of July festivities.


Let's face it - there really isn't a whole lot to do after the 4th anyway....you can really just start to phase off going to the gym at that point.

I'm pumped for cooler weather.  I love walking the dog when the air is crisp, I love being able to use my oven and not sweat all of my makeup off.  I dream of different stews and soups, and I adore watching the leaves turn colors, spending my weekend watching football, and I can't fucking wait to put up my Christmas tree.


I'm one pair of Ugg boots away from going full-on white girl and diving into a vat of Pumpkin Spice Lattes.


I'm that excited for fall and winter.

I managed to whip up a few dishes this past week that while they're not a total homage to the changing of the seasons, they're still super yummy.

Spachcocked Chicken
Hah...she said "cock".

Other than having a giggle-worthy name, this is a fancy way of saying "Hey, I split a chicken and roasted it flat".

Since I'm now not getting off of work until 5:30, and since I'm in Chicago, my commute is around an hour, I try to look for faster ways of doing things.

Enter Spachcocked Chicken.  You're really just roasting a chicken that has had its spine removed and has been flattened.  It's easy and a fanfuckingtastic time saver.

Hey. They don't just call me "Easy and Fast Carey" for nothing.


Ingredients
1 whole chicken (mine was between 4 and 5 pounds)
1 - 2 lemons (you can also use limes like me if you realize that one of the lemons you bought from the grocery store is no bueno)
Rosemary
Thyme
10 cloves garlic (you can use more or less, depending on your preference)
1/2 yellow onion
Salt and Pepper
2 1/2 T. Olive Oil

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 425°.

2. Place chicken, breast side down on your work surface (I covered my cutting board with the brown paper my butcher wrapped the chicken in).  Starting at the thigh end, cut along 1 side of the backbone with kitchen scissors or a chef's knife.  Turn your chicken around and cut along the other side. Discard the backbone or save for a stock.

 3. Flip your chicken, now back-side down and press firmly on the breastbone to flatten.

4. Rub chicken with 1 T of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Thinly slice your lemons/limes, peel garlic, and thinly slice onions into wedges.

6. Drizzle 1 T of olive oil on a baking sheet in an area slightly larger than the chicken.  Place the lemon/lime slices in a single layer on top of the oil.

7. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of the lemons/limes.  If you have remaining lemon/lime slices, you can loosen the skin on the chicken and slide the lemon/lime slices under the loosened chicken skin.    Place a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme on either side of the chicken.

8. Roast chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Toss onions and garlic in remaining 1/2 T. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Scatter around chicken and continue to roast, an additional 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165°.  (I also like to take a temperature around the thigh)

9. Transfer chicken to carving board and allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Carve and enjoy!



Alright. Now I want everyone to take a deep breath in, exhale and say the following with me:

Thank You Sweet, 6 Pound, 8 Ounce Baby Jesus... Football Season is Back!

If you know anything about me, you know that I adore football season. High school, college, or NFL...I love football.  I enjoy commentary. I enjoy strategy.  I enjoy watching rookies become break-out stars, and veterans show both fans and adversaries why they're still in the game.  It's fantastic.


I also love football food.  Bar food.  The kind of food you order with 3 or 4 friends along with a bucket of beers when you're out watching the game.  Or the kind you can absolutely make at home.

Chris is a huge LSU fan.  And since I'm a super-supportive girlfriend, I granted his wish and made him some wings to chow down on while he was watching his Tigers.



Ginger-Garlic Wings
But rest assured, these aren't just your typical Hot Wings.  I'm not about to slather wings with Hot Sauce and call it a day.

Plus, I'm not a fan of hot wings.  They taste weird.  This recipe takes wings to a whole new level of deliciousness.  It's spicy and sweet. Tangy and .. not tangy.  I dunno. I don't have an antonym for tangy right now. I'm tired and it's Monday.

Ingredients
4-5 pounds of wings, tips trimmed
4 T. vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1/2 T Frank's Red Hot
1 cup, flour
2 T. ginger, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 T. Asian Chili Paste
1/8 c. orange juice
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
Baking Oil Spray
Vegetable Oil (if you want to fry the wings after you take them out of the oven)

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 400°

2. Trim up your wings.  Place in a bowl and toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper and Red Hot (the only time in this recipe I'll use it...but it gives the wings a nice kick).


3. Place your wings in a large Ziploc bag with flour.  Shake it like a Polaroid Picture, coating the wings evenly so there is no "wet" remaining.
 

 4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with your non-stick baking spray.  Place your chicken on the sheet so that the wings aren't touching. Spray the tops lightly with the spray.

5. Place in your preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes.   Flip and then put back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the wings reached 165°.

6. For the sauce, combine garlic, ginger, Asian chili paste, OJ, Vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until you reach a desired consistency.  Taste your sauce as it is cooking and play around with the flavors.  want it sweeter? Add some more brown sugar and orange juice.  Want it a little more tangy? Add a little more vinegar. Need more garlic?  You get the drill.  (Feel free to do this while your chicken is cooking).   Remove from heat.

7. Once your wings are done, you can either toss them in your sauce, or fry them up to crisp up the skin.  (I'm a fan of forgoing the frying as I like fitting into my clothes, but since it was a request from Chris, and Chris is a southerner who would fry beer if he could, I tossed some oil in the pan and fried that shit to perfection).
8. If you're frying your wings, add oil to a skillet until it fills the skillet halfway.  Heat to 350° and place chicken in the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip the chicken and continue cooking, an additional 2-3 minutes.   Place on a paper towel to rest.

9.  Once your chicken has drained, or right after you take your chicken out of the oven, place chicken in a large bowl.  Drizzle some of the wing sauce over the chicken and toss to coat.  Place on a serving platter and serve with blue cheese, ranch, carrots and celery.   Enjoy!


I realize that only one of the recipes above are really healthy.  If you're making the wings, you can skip the flour all together or sub out a healthier flour like almond flour.

I'm always looking for new recipes, so please feel free to send me yours... or bonus?  Take pictures of the food you made using my recipes like a total hipster and let me see them!





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