Gah – I’ve been fighting off this cough for the past week and my husband urged me to stay home and rest because I was “never going to get better if you keep pushing yourself”. Since I rarely get sick I usually tend to just work through it but considering it’s been a week I decided to take his advice. How is it I stay home and sleep in only to wake up aching with a headache?!
*Sigh* Ok sorry, ranting over. I just needed a quick pity party. Let’s move on to why you’re here – the food.
I think I’ve mentioned before that we tend to buy 4 whole chickens at a time and break them down ourselves. I feel like by doing it this way we tend to get a better deal (price-wise) and it’s a more reasonable portion size for eating.
From 4 three pound chickens we’ll get 2 packages of breasts, 1 of thighs, 1 of drumsticks, 1 of wings and 4 carcasses that I use for stock, soup or jook/congee. For example, the package of wings is in reality 16 drums and flats and weighs around 1 ½ lb.
I have no problem finding uses for the thighs and breasts but sometimes the wings can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you’re trying to eat healthy.
The unhealthiness of wings is combated a bit by the portion sizing (much to my husband’s dismay) and allows each of us 4 wings as a serving (although in my husband’s opinion he should be getting at least 8).
I love wings in a slow cooker since the meat just falls off the bone without really having to work at it. I’ll admit, this recipe isn’t the dump it all together and forget it kind. While it does take a bit more work, you end up with these super moist and sticky wings with just the right amount of sweet and heat.
Plus since they’re not fried and/or breaded I feel better about serving them and they tend to reheat well for next day lunches.
- ¼ cup hoisin
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sake (can sub dry sherry)
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cayenne, divided
- ¼ cup mango or pineapple jelly (I actually use a mango/pineapple jam but feel free to sub in apricot or peach)
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- Combine hoisin, sugar, soy, sake, scallions, ginger, garlic and ½ tsp cayenne in bowl. Season wings with salt and pepper and place in cooker. Pour sauce over wings, cover and cook for 4 hours on low.
- Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler and preheat broiler. Place wire rack in aluminum foil lined rimmed baking dish and coat with oil spray. Carefully place wings on prepared baking sheet (they’ll want to fall apart) and tent with foil to keep warm. Let slow cooker liquid settle for 5 minutes in fat separator and pour off fat.
- Strain de-fatted liquid off in medium saucepan. Whisk in jelly, vinegar, ½ tsp cayenne, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened and reduced 15 – 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Add any additional salt and pepper as necessary.
- Brush wings with sauce and broil 10 minutes until lightly charred and crisp. Flip wings over, brush with remaining sauce and continue to broil until crisp another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
As you can see from the picture, we don’t separate our wings into drums and flats simply because at that point we’re usually feeling lazy. I don’t think leaving them in whole wing format takes anything away though.
The wings end up with this almost lacquered finish and awesome flavor from the caramelization under the broiler.
I wanted to keep my side simple and something I could make ahead of time (since I wasn’t going to be home till 9). I had received a small head of napa cabbage in my CSA and after slicing it, I threw in what I had left of my shredded carrots and a quick slaw was born.
If you’re interested it was about 3 cups of shredded napa cabbage, ½ cup shredded carrots, 1 ½ Tbsp low fat mayo, 1 ½ Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 ½ Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt, 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar and pepper to taste. Toss together and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Anyway, if you haven’t had wings in a slow cooker you’re missing out. Seriously, they’re awesome.
A word of caution: don’t try to cook them longer than 4 hours on low. If you did they’d literally fall right off the bone and wouldn’t really be wings at that point. You’d probably end up with a shredded chicken in sauce type of thing which, while still tasty, isn’t what we’re going for here.
Although now I totally have an idea percolating for my next batch of chicken wings.