It is Spring Break, so Eilene’s Thursday show night has been moved to Saturday. They are watching the last Lord of the Rings movie. It is time to think up some new Shire recipes.
In previous LOTR show nights, I have made Wise Sage Stew, Lembas Bread, and Shire Hens in Apple Wine. Today, I decided to do glazed chicken wings and seed cake. Unfortunately, none of the wing recipes I found on-line seemed like something a Hobbit would make, so I struck out on my own.
Should you use fresh or frozen wings? Except for one foodie who claimed to be able to taste the difference, most recipes on the Internet have little opinion on the subject. However, since most wing recipes call for fire alarm levels of hot sauce I would go with the less expensive frozen option.
Some recipes suggest you can season the frozen wings and just pop them in the oven. Others insist that you should thaw and dry the wings completely before seasoning. One recipe even suggested boiling the wings and drying them first to get the crispiest skin.
I decided that the teenagers would not notice one way or another. So I opted for the quickest method. I sprinkled some dry rub on the frozen wings and baked them for 50 minutes. I put the wings on a rack, to keep them from stewing in the juices and melted frost that collected in the pan.
Note: I reserved and filtered the frothy clumps from these juices. I could have made a nice pan sauce with them, but I am keeping them as a soup starter for another meal.
I brushed on a honey glaze and finished them off in a hot oven. I was looking for something that was savory and sweet, but not overly spicy. My wings came out crispy, sticky and delicious, just what a room full of Hobbits would love.
Note: When Peter Jackson made the first movie, the sheep farmer who owned the land insisted that it be put back just as it was before the filming. As a result most of the “Hobbit Holes” were only false fronts, to minimize the damage to the property, and the inn and mill were demolished when the filming was done. Since that time, as people like us have gone looking for the site, he realized his mistake. When Jackson made the Hobbit, the farmer insisted that the Green Dragon Inn and the Mill be not only left in place, but to be functional. You may now book tours, if you ever find your way to New Zealand’s North Island.
After Dinner Note: Jan declared this a keeper. The kids didn’t say anything, but they cleaned the plate, so I think they liked them.
Karl’s Hobbiton Honey Glazed Chicken Wings
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Coleman’s Mustard
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3+ lbs. chicken wings, frozen (about 38)
½ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tbs. brandy
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Mix the dry spices well and put them in a shaker bottle.
Tip: I keep an old empty spice bottle with a shaker top on my counter for this purpose.
3. Lay a wire rack in a shallow baking tray and spread the frozen wings in a single layer.
Tip: Cover the tray with a sheet of foil or parchment paper to help clean up.
4. Sprinkle the spice blend over both sides of the wings.
5. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 40 minutes at 400° F.
Tip: In addition to not stewing your wings, the wire rake makes it unnecessary to flip the wings half way through the cooking time. The wings are getting an even dry heat from all sides.
6. While the wings are baking, mix the honey, soy sauce, oil, and brandy in a small pot.
Tip: For those who think ahead; make the glaze several hours before starting your wings, so it can cool and thicken completely.
7. Gently boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Set the pot in the refrigerator to cool it quickly.
8. Remove the tray from the oven and brush half of the glaze over the wings. Turn the oven up to 500° F.
9. Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
10. Brush the wings a second time with the glaze and continue baking for 5 more minutes, or until glaze is well caramelized.
11. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and let them cool slightly before serving.
Tip: The sticky honey glaze will burn like napalm, if you grab a wing right out of the oven.