I've never thought of myself as being conventional. Actually, I consider conventional to be a bit boring. When my daughters invited friends over to our house for the Super Bowl game last month they all expected football food. I disappointed them by being unconventional again and serving Ribollita. They all agreed the soup was good, but nothing anyone would ever eat while watching a football game.
So when we planned to get together again this past weekend for the Academy Awards and I asked what they'd like for dinner, one daughter said, "How about the chicken wings we didn't get for the Super Bowl!" Ouch.... they never let me forget a misstep in this house. In fact, they all seem to get a little too much pleasure (pleasure that is accompanied by a little too much laughter) when pointing out how I have screwed-up.
I made this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and Celery Sticks twice in the past week; mainly because I had so much Blue Cheese Dip left over from the first go-around. But I also wanted to try out different wings. My first attempt was made with a 4 pound package of chicken wings that I cut at the wing tip (which is discarded) and then again at the joint between the bones. My daughter's reaction was -- why didn't you just buy frozen wings in a bag that are already disassembled? That's what I did the second time. What would I do a third time? The first takes a little extra time because you will be doing all the cutting up of the wings yourself. What I liked about the bag of frozen wings is, they were still extremely cold and a bit frozen when I brushed them with the butter. Because of their icy temperature, the butter mixture actually hardened onto the wings and after broiling they seemed less greasy than the first batch I made and tasted better because of that. If using my first attempt approach, I'd suggest putting the wings in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get them good and chilled before brushing with the butter.
Also, check ingredients on the bags of frozen chicken wings, boneless breasts, etc. Sometimes Hydrogenated Oils are used in the solution of these frozen items. Search to find a brand that does not use trans fats.
Note: I still have some of the Blue Cheese Dip left, even after making the chicken wings twice. I'm going to add some buttermilk and use as a dressing on a plate of romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes... yum.
• Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and Celery •
recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
• 16 chicken wings (about 3 pounds) -- I've used up to 4 pounds, but you need to move the chicken around the sheet pan so the wings brown evenly
• 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon Tabasco (I misread the recipe the 2nd time and used 4 teaspoons! It was good and HOT!)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
• 1 cup good Mayonnaise
• 3/4 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 3/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Celery sticks, for serving
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Cut the chicken wings into thirds, cutting between the bones. Discard the wing tips. Melt the butter and add the cayenne, Tabasco, and salt. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the melted butter. Broil them about 3-inches below the heat for 8 minutes. Turn the wings, brush them again with the butter, and broil for 4 more minutes or until cooked.
3. For the sauce, place the blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until almost smooth.
4. Serve the chicken wings hot or at room temperature with the blue cheese dip and celery sticks.