I’m sorry, I have been neglecting the blog for the last couple of weeks. This is due, in part, to having had some pretty serious dental surgery (yuck) and also partly to do with sheer laziness.
Anyway, I had a pretty great Christmas and New Year and although I am currently only able to
drink wine eat soup through a straw and I’ve also been forced to give up smoking (BAH!) I am unfazed as my eye is on the main prize of 2012. Oh yes, I have booked a holiday to Florida in July and have been researching Man vs Food eateries to visit. *SCREAM*
In homage to this exciting development I have been cooking some traditional American dishes and have started with Tom’s favourite – Hot Sauce coated chicken wings.
I’ve been looking at recipes for a truly HOT hot sauce for a while – our favourite is Louisiana hot sauce but every recipe I found needed the chilli peppers to steep in vinegar for six months in a basement, behind some peaches, at a temperature of 85C.
And then I found a recipe that was far more forgiving of my Not-Yet-Being-In-the-USness…
So I gathered together the ingredients. The original recipe called for four habanero chilli peppers – I have two hopes of getting hold of habaneros but I have read that scotch bonnets are pretty much on a par heat and flavour wise and these are readily available. I chickened out though and only bought two.
I chopped the red onion into a fine dice and minced the garlic. When chopping the chilli, please make sure to use rubber gloves – those scotch bonnets are vicious. I, of course, used rubber gloves and as I smugly diced the peppers a perfect arch of searing hot juice shot into my eye causing a volcano of swears and violence. So in addition to rubber gloves make sure you have a pair of sunglasses or goggles to hand.
I added the onion to the pan with the olive oil and softened before adding the garlic and chopped chillis
I then added three cups of chopped fresh tomatoes to the mix. I used a whole
punnet, box, pack of basic tomatoes and did not de-skin them – Life is too short. I then added the vinegar, sugar and salt
Once again the house filled with that horrible vinegary feety smell. This is the major downside of cooking any chutney or sauce with vinegar – it smells vile and makes you want to cough up a lung.
This sauce only needs about 10 minutes now, just long enough for the tomatoes to become mushy and for the vinegar *cough* to evaporate a little bit.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before adding to a food processor
Blitz the mix until smooth-ish. Then push the mixture through a metal sieve.
You then end up with a bowl of
excruciatingly hot sauce which can be either added to a plate in the same way as ketchup (but with added agony) or can be used to marinade meat.
I added the sauce to a bunch of large chicken wings (scoring the meat before adding the marinade) and left to sit for a few hours – overnight in the fridge is better; scored, marinaded and frozen for a week is the best.
When ready to cook, Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a roasting tray. Brush the wings with a little more marinade before placing in the oven.
Now to cooking times – I roasted these at gas mark 6 for well over an hour – these were large wings and were nowhere near cooked at 40 minutes (as per usual chicken wing cooking time). Use your discretion and keep cooking and basting with marinade – keep turning the wings until you’re confident that the evilness of salmonella has been burned to death and the wings are crispy on the outside but nice and succulent within.
This recipe gave a yield of enough sauce to marinate about 12 large chicken wings with a jam jar full excess which can be poured over the cooked wings if you like it very hot, or kept in the fridge and used whenever you feel like scaring the shit out of your tastebuds.
I served the chicken with plain green beans, macaroni cheese, and some random sausages that I had left over in the freezer from Christmas. QUITE the combination I’m sure you agree.
It was bloody LOVELY.
And so begins my concerted effort to cook bundles of American dishes to acclimatise us all before our big trip. We’re all so excited that I’m sure you, poor reader, will be sick to the back teeth of us soon – either that or you could give some of these recipes a go and become enamoured with American cooking as well.
If you’d like to give the Hot Sauce a go have a look here for the full recipe.