Sunday, January 12, 2014

Glazy Days

The work hiatus is over.  The holidays are a memory.  I officially reported for my first day back to work this past Friday, and thankfully, it was a Burger night (easy for me, prep-wise), and the weather was right around 30 degrees, a comfortable temperature for grilling in a little kitchen trailer.

Next weekend is a fondue dinner and a Super Bowl appetizer demo.  And nothing says Super Bowl like chicken wings, right?  One of the demo items are Apple-Jalapeno Chicken Wings.  The chicken wings part is easy; my job is to make up the glaze.

Surprisingly, the Google only turned up a couple of easy, decent glaze recipes.  One, which I have pictures of below, involve chopped apples, brown sugar, and some other stuff, cooked down into a compote-type form.  Does this strike anyone else as weird?  Compote does not really equal glaze for me...I mean, glazes are smooth, shiny, and sexy.  Compotes are chunky, thick, and rustic.  I don't think of glazing my wings with compote.  Alas.  So, after several minutes of some serious recipe occurred to me that making a glaze is way easier than cooking down fruit.  That's what fruit preserves already are...cooked-down fruit.

A Tale of Two Glazes
The glaze on the left was WAY easier to make...and here's how simple it is.  1/2 jar apple jelly, 1/4 cup jalapeño juice (the briny stuff from the jarred jalapeños), and 10 jalapeños, diced...heated up in a small saucepan until jelly melted.  And that's it.  The second one involved chopping up of apples, measuring of water, denuding of thyme stems, and other sundry measurements and gathering before dumping all in a saucepan to simmer on the stovetop for about 25 minutes (the liquid was nearly gone).  Because then it was really chunky, I puréed it in my processor for a couple of minutes.  The above is the final product.

The chicken wings part was simple.

Oven at 375 degrees.  Rinse 2 lbs of wings and pat them dry.  No, really, dry those suckers like your life depends on it.  Then, rub them down with some olive oil (don't be a prude about it, massage the heck out of the wings - don't worry, they like it), and season well with salt and pepper.  Place on them on a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  When you pull them, you're looking for crispy skin.  Brush a liberal amount of the glaze of your choice over them.  Bake them for another 15 minutes.  Glaze them again once you've pulled them from the oven.

Eat.  It's one hell of a wingding.

If your grocery store is anything like mine (better, probably), you'll have dozens of jam and jelly types to choose from.  It would be amazing fun to try this recipe with different flavors (as of this typing, I am dreaming of a blackberry-ginger-sage glaze).  You are only limited by what you CAN'T glaze (this list is very small and includes things like your shoes, pets, or children).

Glaze on!

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