Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tangy Orange Chicken Wings

I was experimenting in my kitchen last night and came up with these sweet and tangy chicken wings. The verdict? The family LOVED it! For those of you who are scared of playing with your food, I'd like to challenge you to try it out just one time. You might come up with a masterpiece. I was that kid who'd stay seated at the table after everyone had finished their meal to mix leftovers (much to my moms chagrin). When caught, my mom would give me a stern warning. "Stop playing with your food!", she said. I can tell you now that old habits die hard as my little "food experiments" have never stopped. I just do it in a grander scale now. Why? Because I can (Mom can't stop me now. Hehehe!). Sometimes my experiments are a total fail (and end up in the abyss of flanked recipes). But when they do work, I share them (like this one). These wings are crisp to the bite yet succulent on the inside. The coating is sweet and tangy owing to the mix of ingredients used. Here's how you make them...
Serving Size:
These are 30 chicken wings. That should be enough to feed 4-5 comfortably (if served with sides).

-Heavy-bottomed pan (I used an 8 quart cast iron Dutch oven).
-Candy/frying thermometer (to test the temperature of your cooking oil (optional).
-Kitchen tongs.
-Heat-safe slotted spoon (for removing your chicken from the hot oil).
-Baking sheet lined with Aluminium foil.
-Large oven-safe bowl or plate lined with paper towels ( to absorb any excess fat from the chicken after frying).
-Medium saucepan.
-Large mixing bowl.
-Aluminium foil.
-Paper towels.

-4lbs chicken wings (bone in, skin on).
-Oil for frying (I used one 48Oz bottle of canola oil).
-1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) of pure orange juice. I used a 12 OZ can of 100% frozen orange juice. You can find this in the frozen juice section at your grocery store.
-1 teaspoon salt.
-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
-1 Tbspn brown sugar.
-1 teaspoon ginger powder.
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
-1/2 teaspoon chilli powder.
-1/2 teaspoon browning caramel. Optional. This is found in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store where the Jamaican foods are. If you can't find it, you can use molasses.
-1/2 teaspoon soy sauce.
-1 bay leaf.
-2 tablespoons chopped green onion plus extra for garnishing.
-2 stalks of celery (to garnish the finished dish).

-Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celcius). You'll need this to keep your wings warm as you fry the other batches.
-On heat slightly higher than medium, heat the oil in your pan. If you have a candy/frying thermometer, you want your oil to come up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celcius). If you don't have a candy/frying thermometer, drop a piece of white bread in the hot oil and if the bread turns brown in a 60 second count, your oil is ready for frying. Do not use oil that is not hot enough to fry or your chicken pieces will just sit at the bottom of the pan and absorb oil until the oil comes to temperature. This will result in greasy/soggy chicken :( . On the other hand, if your oil is too hot, you chicken will cook on the outside and be bloody and uncooked on the inside-eew!
-Thoroughly clean your chicken wings under running tap water and dry completely with paper towels.
-Place the clean/dry chicken wings on the prepared baking sheet. at this point, liberally season the wings with the salt and pepper on all sides. If you have diet restrictions that limit the use of sodium, you can skip this part. The wings will still taste good because they'll be coated in the sauce later. I cooked the first batch without salt or pepper and they still tasted good.
- Once your oil has come to the correct frying temperature, carefully lay 5-6 pieces of chicken at a time in the hot oil and slow to cook for 10 minutes per batch (turn the chicken pieces over halfway through this cooking time to ensure that all the sides are well cooked and look golden brown). As soon as your chicken hits the oil, the reaction should be fast and furious as shown in the picture below. If you have to set your oven timer for 10 minutes every time you put in a batch of chicken into the oil, please do so. There are very few things worse than undercooked chicken!
-Once the 10 minutes of frying time is up, use your heat-safe slotted spoon to scoop the chicken out of the hot oil and let the excess oil drip back into the pan. Then  transfer your chicken onto the plate/bowl lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil from the frying; transfer this bowl/ plate with the chicken to the oven to keep the oven to keep the chicken warm as you fry the other batches. After removing every batch of chicken from the oil, give the oil about 5-8 minutes to come back to the correct frying temperature. Keep doing this until all your chicken pieces are fried. They should look like this...
-In the meantime, prepare your orange sauce.

Instructions  For making The Orange Sauce:
-Pour the orange juice into your saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.
-Add the bay leaf, chilli powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger powder, Worcestershire sauce, browning sauce and soy sauce. Stir and simmer for about 8 minutes until the sauce comes to a boil and has slightly thickened. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
-Turn the heat down to "warm" add the chopped green onions and stir.
Once you're done making your sauce, transfer your fried chicken pieces to a large bowl. Drizzle in the sauce and toss the chicken wings to completely coat them in the sauce.
Cover the bowl with Aluminium foil and return the warm oven for at least 20 minutes. this will give the wings time to absorb the sauce and that makes them more tasty. your wings are ready to be served. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions:
 Goes well with creamy mashed potatoes, fries, coleslaw or just by themselves. I served mine up with some skillet potato wedges and homemade creamy coleslaw (both recipes coming soon)...TASTY!!!!!