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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sticky sweet-and-sour chicken wings (American)

Mini chicken wings glazed with a sticky sweet and sour sauce. Full of marvelous flavors of balsamic vinegar, caramelized honey, lemon juice, lemongrass, garlic, thyme and sesame seed oil. Super easy to make (one dish, stove-top). You'll love them. 
We gave them an Asian extra by using sesame oil and a touch of lemongrass, which are not traditional in the American version, but by skipping those ingredients from the list you're left with the original version. :)
Not to mention that the similar ones you can get (almost) ready made are full of fats and artificial flavors and yucky stuff. And not even close to the home-made ones regarding yummyness. Really, make them as soon as possible and they'll become your go-to dinner. 
Inspired from Lavinia.  

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 500 g chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons red balsamic vinegar
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • juice and zest from one lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemongrass (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean the wings and cut them in half (if needed) to make them more bite-sized. Season them with salt and pepper on both sides and leave them aside as you prepare the rest. Squeeze the lemon and get the other ingredients close.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and put the wings in it. Fry them slightly for 3 minutes on each side.

After they've caught some color, add the vinegar, thyme and garlic to the pan and mix well. 

Cover and let them cook for 10 minutes. After that the meat should no longer be raw in the middle. After you uncover them, let the whole thing cook until the liquid is reduced by half (2-3 minutes more). Keep turning them once in a while, but relax, they won't burn - the vinegar is an acid and it slows down the frying.
Next, add the remaining ingredients (mixing well to evenly distribute them) and let the whole thing cook, uncovered, in the resulting sauce:

They will gain more and more color as the whole thing caramelizes. Keep cooking it till the sauce thickens and reduces (6-7 more minutes):

After that, it's done. Transfer on a plate and dig in! :)
P.S: We served this with a nice side of garlicky bulgur pilaf. But it would also go with potatoes, bread etc. 

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