Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spicy Korean Style Chicken Wings

Have I mentioned how much I love wings yet? Oh, I have? Like a hundred times? Oh? Well, whatever, I'm saying it again. Wings are delicious and I love them.

I shared a Korean-style wings post back in November 2011, which is old, drab, and not so attractive. I boiled my wings in that post; what was I thinking? Everyone knows that you need to dust your wings in potato starch and fry them to get a good and crispy wing! Honestly though, if you're watching your weight or you're not keen on frying things, boiling isn't a bad option and neither is baking. You could also boil and then broil to get a bit of crispness. It's really up to you.

That sauce recipe in that old entry is yummy and simple, which is great and if you're not a fan of pulling every bottle out of the pantry, then it's probably a good one for you. Today's sauce recipe is just as simple to assemble, but it's got quite a few more ingredients. I think that this sauce has a slightly deeper, more complex, and better flavor. Or, you can just use my recipe and ingredients as a guideline and just wing it. HA! Buck, buck, let's get into it.
1 dozen chicken wings
1/2 cup potato starch
frying oil
2 tablespoons finely diced carrot (about 3 baby carrots)
2 tablespoons finely diced onion (about 1/8 onion)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 to 4 cloves)
1 serrano pepper, split in half
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon hot pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon corn syrup or sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
+ chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish
Start by coating the wings in potato starch and putting them in hot oil to shallow fry. You can check out my crispy hot wings post for a more extensive photo diary but basically, you want the oil at around 350F and then you can gently place the wings in the pan. The chicken will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook through and for the skin to get crisp and golden. Flip the wings occasionally to make sure they cook evenly and get a nice golden color all over. Once the wings are cooked through, place them on a paper towel to wick away the excess grease.
While the wings are frying you can work on the sauce. Prepare all of your veggies and add them to a saucepan.
Add sesame oil to the saucepan too and cook over a medium heat until the onions are translucent and softened. Add in the juice, soy sauce, ketchup, Sriracha, hot pepper paste, corn syrup, Worcestershire, and rice wine vinegar. Stir all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the sauce cook and reduce for about 10 minutes until it's lush and thickened. The longer you let the sauce cook, the more it will reduce, and the thicker it will get. I like my sauce to be thick enough to coat the wings (without just dripping off immediately), but thin enough to sort of soak into the crispy breading; you know what I'm saying, bro?
The last step is to dress the wings and garnish them. If you like, you can also serve them separately and let everyone sauce their wings themselves, which will ensure the wings stay crispy through the whole meal. Another option is to sauce the wings and broil them for a minute or two which will give the wings a little more color.

I dressed and garnished a portion of wings, which my sister promptly dug into.
These wings are spicy, sweet, savory, and delicious. The skin is lovely and crispy while the inside is succulent and tender. I don't know what else to say; they're good. Serve these to your hungry dinner party and in just a few minutes all you'll see are smiles and a pile of chicken bones. Enjoy.
Here's the recipe page:

Monday, April 21, 2014

How To: Poach an Egg

I've returned from my mini break in D.C. I've still got to sort through my photos and do a bit of editing, blah blah blah, but I'm going to be sharing some delicious restaurants that we visited. Unfortunately, I'm back at work today but guess what? I'm heading to North Dakota on Thursday. It's for work and I'll be in the middle of nowhere, but I've never been so I'm embracing it. I'll only be away for about 3 weeks before I have to come back to go to France - heyoh! - but being away from my kitchen will mean fewer posts. I have a few prescheduled posts ready to go, as well as a handful of photos that need to be edited and turned into posts, so I'll still have a presence; it just won't be daily like it's been for the past few months.

In the meantime, today I'm sharing instructions on how to poach an egg. I'm sure this has been done to death but I want to share my tips and tricks.
1 egg (super fresh)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon white vinegar
small saucepan
So, there are so many tricks out there. Some people suggest swirling the water before adding the egg so that the mini whirlpool will swirl the egg whites back around the yolk. Another tip I hear all the time is to use room temperature eggs. Well, let's put those tips aside for a moment and discuss mine. I have five:
  1. Use super fresh eggs. You can test the freshness of an egg by putting it in a big bowl of water. If it sinks it's only a few days old. If it's floating at an angle, it's probably about a week old. The fresher the egg, the firmer the egg whites will be.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat until it's no longer violently bubbling. You want to know that the water is super hot (to make sure the egg whites set up quickly) but you don't want it to be bubbling so violently that it agitates the egg.
  3. Add an acid to the poaching liquid (e.g. lemon juice or white vinegar). Egg whites coagulate at a certain temperature. Lowering the pH of the cooking liquid makes the eggs coagulate faster because it lowers the normal coagulation temperature.
  4. Use a small saucepan and use just 2 inches of water. A wide and shallow pot is the typical vessel of choice but the less area that an egg has to spread out is better, right? And again, a shallow water depth means less space for the egg whites to spider out.
  5. Crack the egg into a separate bowl. You'll need this for ease of adding the egg into the tiny pot.
Got it?

Okay, so start by cracking your egg into a bowl.

Get your tiny saucepan and fill it with about 2 inches of water and mix in a little vinegar. My tiny saucepan is from Christmas Tree Shops and it was only $3; pretty sweet deal, huh? Anyway, add in the egg - no vortex necessary for such a small pot - and let the egg cook for about 3 minutes until the whites firm up.
Use a spoon to gently flip the egg over - this is a great time to check if it's sticking to the bottom of the pan - and then let it cook for another minute on the second side just to make sure the egg is completely set. I'm into a super runny yolk so the total 4 minute cooking time is perfect for me. If you prefer a slightly thicker yolk, I'd add about 1 minute of cooking time to each side.
Fish the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon and let them drain on a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and then use as you choose.

Honestly, there are some harsh critics of poached eggs out there and they have this checklist with amazingly nitpicky criteria of what makes a good poached egg. For me, it's an egg that looks relatively pretty and in tact, a good and runny yolk, and a tender white.

I plopped my poached eggs right onto a salad and it was super yum. Honestly, I probably should have flipped these guys over because the side that's showing in the photos below is the bumpy side (where the water was getting foamy) but the bottom side was so smooth and lovely. My bad! Oh well, it still tasted good and had a lovely texture, and that's the most important part, right?
Here's the recipe page:
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