Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wing ding

Wings 1

As D.'s academic career amps up, she's getting more opportunities to travel to conferences and other academic-y things that academics do. In 2011, she's already been to conferences in three different cities, which to my second-tier-college-diploma-toting eye seems like a sure sign that she's doing something right in her chosen field. Great for her, but I fear I'm going to have to get used to cooking for one a little more often.

Saturday night, D. is away and I'm not interested in fussing about in the kitchen for my supper lest it get in the way of the important TV-watching I've planned. Lately I've taken to starting my Saturdays with a visit to my butcher, so I'm prepared with a suitably bachelor-friendly supply of chicken wings and a recipe from my old buddy Nigel.

In their simplicity of citrus and pepper, these are more sophisticated than your hot-sauce dripping bar snacks. But you can never take the humble out of the wing: any dish requiring you to attack the crisp skin and juicy flesh with bare fingers will never truly lose its proletarian sheen.

Chicken wings with lemon and black pepper (adapted from Nigel Slater's "The Kitchen Diaries")
2 lbs large free-range chicken wings
2 medium sized lemons
5 bay leaves
1 heaped tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Put the wings into a large roasting pan (you don't want them to be crowded), halve the lemons and squeeze them over the chicken wings. Cut each of the lemon skins into quarters and add to roasting pan.

Crush peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or kitchen mallet so that they crack into small pieces. Mix with the olive oil and pour over the chicken wings .Tuck the bay leaves between the pieces of chicken and scatter the salt over the chicken. Roast for about an hour, turning when necessary to keep the skin from sticking to the pan. The chicken should be golden and sticky, the edges blackened here and there. Serve with a cold beer in front of the flickering light of the idiot box.

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