Monday, August 16, 2010

Indian Spice Wings, the Perfect Accompaniment to the Preseason

Two things I love, sports and cooking. As much as I love watching sports, arguing about sports, reading about sports and writing about sports, I love to cook. I love finding a recipe and then tweaking it. I love planning a menu, growing herbs and even the prep work (that's mise-en-place to 'Top Chef' viewers.)

So, this season, I'm posting recipes for each week of NFL football, pre-season through the Super Bowl (yeah, I'll skip the Pro Bowl), for whatever tasty treat I've made to go along with football viewing.

Indian Inspired Wings, two ways.

(I purchased whole wings, so first, I had to butcher them - cut them along the joints, tossing away the wingtip, then wash and dry the sections. I'm not usually a meat washer, but somehow I just feel compelled to with chicken.)

Tandoori Style-Wings:

Mix low-fat, plain yogurt (about 16 ounces) with:
1 tbsp fresh ground ginger
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp chili powder (I used ancho, but use whatever is at hand)
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Marinate one dozen wings (24 pieces) in spiced yogurt overnight.

Dry Spiced Wings:

These wings use all the same ingredients as the tandoori wings, except the tumeric and yogurt (hence the dry-spice moniker.) Just toss the wings into a ziploc bag with all the dry spices make sure all the wings are coated and refrigerate overnight.

To cook, lay wings on cookie sheets that have been coated with a light brushing of olive oil. Salt wings liberally and cook at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes. Flip, and cook another 12 minutes. Finish them on a grill to get a crisp skin. Just grill about 1 minute on each side or the wings might char too much, as I stupidly did on Saturday. Lesson learned. Get 'em on, turn 'em and get 'em off. Other than a bit of char, they were delicious, really flavorful and surprisingly moist.

Raita style dipping sauce:

16 oz. greek yogurt (I used lowfat)
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated
1 healthy tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic (put this in and let it sit for about an hour, then remove altogether; you don't want a strong garlic flavor, just a hint)
1 or 2 tbsp of kosher salt, to taste.
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint. Add just before serving.