Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Time To Go, Joe - Crockpot Honey Hoisin Chicken Wings

Sixty-seven degrees this morning and I am FREEZING.  Crazy but true. In my head, I'm the eternal New Yorker, but this old body is definitely Floridian. My house, like the courthouse down the block, faces north, and I've stated before that the sidewalk in front of the courthouse is the coldest spot in Florida. Besides the northern exposure, the placement of the three big buildings that make up Courthouse Square has created a wind tunnel of sorts, capturing the wind, which is chilled because no sun can penetrate there and this icy-cold wind whips around in a continuous circle. Because the Square isn't really square. So add to my list of why I like retirement is not having to walk the block through Antarctica in a suit and heels.  Okay, I never wore a suit or heels, but I always wore a skirt.  And pantyhose. Now I can wear yoga pants, hand knit socks and my mock clogs. Maybe this retirement gig ain't so bad after all.

I've been bitching about Joe Biden over on Facebook. There is no excuse for his cutesy-bullshit of waiting for Hillary to fall to he can swoop in like a vulture to pick up the pieces and carry his party to victory.  First, Hillary is not going to fall. That ship has sailed and Trey Gowdy is going down with it. O Captain, my Captain. Partisan idiot. Secondly, Joe is not going to withstand the battering from the Republican front runner, Donald Trump.  Well, at least The Donald can't rag on Joe about those awful hair plugs he got planted in his scalp for his 1988 run - hair is a touchy topic with Donald, and by the way, his roots are showing and he needs a touch-up. Joe is turning into what my friend Chris calls a cluster f**K; besides, in my mind, there is something very unseemly and damn abnormal in running for President so soon after losing a son. That sort of profound grief has a terrible way of crushing people, and it would be far better for Joe to deal with the worst thing that can happen to a parent  instead of trying to bury it in a grueling campaign and what promises to be a brutal presidency. Vulture culture doesn't suit you, Joe nor does the inevitable conclusion that you were looking for the sympathy vote.When Barack Obama leaves the White House, you need to leave with him.  Ciao, Mr. Vice President. (Since I wrote this, Biden announced his decision not to run. He chose wisely. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.)

Which brings me to the Middle East, in a manner of speaking. To say I am a Zionist is a vast understatement. The bias of a good part of the media (MSNBC comes to mind) and the Obama administration's clumsy attempt to equate Israeli self-defense with Palestinian terrorism are mind-boggling in the depth and breadth of rampant, never-ending anti-Semitism. I support Netanyahu and Israel in doing whatever they have to do to secure their country and keep it safe from terrorists. And if that offends you, unfriend me on Facebook, throw me out of your Google circle, strike my name from your Christmas card list. Am Yisrael Chai - the People of Israel shall live. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Time to switch to a happier, less-controversial topic - have you figured out what Emeril Lagasse, Ina Garten, and Guy Fieri have in common, if it's not Food Network?

Yesterday I overdid, but was still unable to fall asleep so I got out of bed at 1:30 in the morning and cut my hair. Yes, yes, short again and damn glad of it.  I look like a superannuated pixie ... I knew in my heart that my Big Hair days were over, but at this time of my life I felt the need to swim upstream just a bit. I always forget just how thick, wavy-curly-frizzy and unmanageable my hair really is when it has a little length to it. I also forgot just how much weight even a little bit of extra hair adds to my head, giving me headaches.

How does my garden grow? Thanks for asking! Well, my planting plans are going to be put off her another day as my back has started to hurt in all directions and several different ways, and James still has some more work to finish this magnificent project. I'm really stoked about growing my own food, but today is just not the day to put down roots, so to speak. Yesterday, as part of my overdoing I went to Home Depot and snagged a whole bunch of brassica (cruciferous) vegetables, plus some romaine, spinach, and summer squash (it's always summer in Florida, except for the last 2 weeks of January and the first 2 weeks of February. And no snow, not ever. So there.)

The back brou-ha-ha has also put a kibosh on a recipe I put together involving green beans and Thanksgiving. That's all I'm going to say for now except don't start looking for that out-of-date can of cream of mushroom soup in the very furthest corner of your pantry. You won't be needing it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But you will need this recipe for wings, which are so good you will be left wondering how you ever lived without them.

Crockpot Honey Hoisin Chicken Wings

3 pounds chicken wings, separated (I used Perdue frozen wings and briefly rinsed them in warm water)
my seasoning blend (or just use salt and pepper)
1-12 oz. bottle pure clover honey
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 very large cloves)
1/2 tablespoon Gourmet Garden ginger paste
2 tablespoons canola oil
several drops of Sriracha sauce

Season the chicken wings on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.  Spray the inside of your crockpot with olive oil spray. Whisk together the remaining ingredients.

Place half the wings in the bottom of the crockpot, then pour on half of the honey hoisin sauce.  Repeat with the remaining wings and sauce.  Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours.  Halfway through, carefully stir the wings to reverse the two layers.

Keep in mind that I started with frozen wings, that I did not defrost but I did rinse off the ice. At the 4 hour mark the wings were perfect - tender and cooked all the way through but not coming off the bone. The sauce was well-absorbed, but I wanted to try to glaze the wings, so - I removed them from the crockpot to a low aluminum baking dish (like you would use for lasagna.) I placed them under the broiler with the door open and watched them closely. When the skin became somewhat crispy, I turned them over to broil the other side.

At the same time, I covered the crockpot and turned it to high. Once the sauce started to bubble, I removed the cover so the sauce could reduce. Once it was reduced to where I liked it, I ladled the sauce over the wings. What can I say? Perfect.


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