Wednesday, April 18, 2012
D. and I have a little bit of repartee we repeat just about every time we’re about to sit down for dinner. Just as we are serving ourselves in the kitchen, one will ask the other “Shall we eat at the table like real grown ups or in front of the TV like savages?”
Most days of the week, we are savages and none more so than the first couple of days after the weekend when we try to get caught up on all the shows our cable-less selves missed when they first aired on Sunday night. Dinner time is also our time for our stories.
This Tuesday was Game of Thrones night (Mondays is for Mad Men) I was looking for something that required a minimum of concentration to prepare so I could devote my full attention to the intrigues of Westroros. I was in the mood for quick, pan ready pork chops, but the selection at Rowe Farms was pretty well picked apart by the time I arrived post-work. As fate would have it, though, they had a special on chicken wings and I managed to snag one of the last remaining packs.
When it comes to making wings at home, I usually defer to my standby recipe from Nigel Slater for the ease of preparation and the flavour combinations. This time I wasn’t looking to stray too far from that path, but wanted to put a spin on it to keep things interesting. Once again it was Nigel to the rescue: when I cracked "The Kitchen Diaries" to review the classic, it opened right to a recipe for grilled lamb chops that had the same fresh, bright flavours I was seeking for my wings. It was easy enough to adapt for my purposes, a cinch to make and resulted in a fantastic solo supper (paired them with roast potato wedges) consumed by hand. Like the savage I am.
Roasted lemon thyme chicken wings
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, plus a few whole sprigs
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 pound free-range organic chicken wings
2 ounces feta cheese, preferably Greek or French
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
In a wide, shallow dish, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chopped thyme, pepper and a pinch of coarse salt. Add the wings and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay out the wings (don’t crowd them). Drizzle with a little bit of the marinade and discard the bulk of it. Scatter a few thyme sprigs around the wings and roast for 20-25 minutes.
After 20 minutes, flip wings over, turn the baking sheet and roast fro an additional 15-20 minutes until wings are crisp and golden.
Place wings in a large bowl, drizzle with hot pan juices and sprinkle with crumbled feta and the mint. Give it a good toss and serve right away. If you want to just eat it out of the bowl, hey, no judgment here.