Friday, February 20, 2009

Wings, Again: Chicken Wings with Ginger Soy Glaze and Ginger-Scallion Sauce and Quickest Fried Rice

After all the talk of Ginger-Scallion sauce and Scallion-Ginger sauce from the last post, I thought that this weekend would be a good time to try the Ginger-Scallion sauce. One recipe that Bittman suggests with this sauce is the ginger and soy sauce glazed chicken wing variation. I made the Smokey Lime Chile variation before, and have also made the traditional Buffalo-style Chicken Wings with Bleu Cheese sauce (haven't posted that yet though, it's on the way). I know, it sounds like I'm trying to make this blog into Ben Cooks EveryWing, but I swear I'm making wings just as much as I used to before the project. They're the most underrated part of the chicken. Americans are so in love with the bland, flavorless chicken breast that it sells for exorbitant amounts, while the flavor packed wing goes for next to nothing. And yet, the wing has so much more texture, flavor, and versatility. It's fun to eat and you get those tips that you can save to make stock with later on down the line. I only love them more now that I have Bittman's six variations to work with.

These wings are the same as the aforementioned Smokey variation: roast the hell out of them in the oven (another benefit of the wing, it doesn't seem to ever dry out), toss them in the sauce. In this iteration the sauce is rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, a lot of ginger, plus a little Sriracha for a kick which was my addition, and I recommend. Roast another ten minutes or so, and you're done. And boy, are these good. I liked them even more than the Smoky ones, which I loved. Now, Bittman says that this recipe doesn't need a dipping sauce, but that the Ginger Scallion sauce will work if you feel you must. Obviously I did, and while I agree with Bittman that they'd be really good on their own, the dipping sauce does add another level of delicious.

Ginger-Scallion sauce, I must say, is very similar but to my taste not as good as Scallion-Ginger sauce, but that's probably because my mother used to make Scallion-Ginger sauce all the time; nostalgia colors taste, I know this much. But you can't really lose with either one; they're both easy and tasty. The Ginger Scallion sauce is faster, as the heat from the oil makes the flavors come together more quickly, where the Scallion Ginger sauce has to hang out and marinate itself for a while. And, uh, I forgot to take pictures of it. My bad. It's a shame because the stuff was a very pleasing vibrant yellowish-green. Would have been a nice compliment to all this brown food I've been making.

Meanwhile, the rice couldn't be easier: saute some onions, and peppers if you've got them, in neutral oil. Add cooked rice (best if its a day or so old, but OK to make some, chill it a couple hours, and then use that) and let it cook til it starts to brown a bit. Then you throw in some soy sauce and sesame oil, and you're good. It was a little bland, but had a nice subtle flavor to it.

Next time I think I will try the more detailed fried rice, which looks like it has a lot more flavor. All in all though, for the time it took, this was a nice easy way to punch up some rice, and not as greasy as I thought it was going to be.
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