|Think this Chicken Caesar is healthy?
Nanny-state behavior or not, to me the requirement to list calories really was an eye-opener. There, clear as day, was the Chicken Caesar Salad weighing in at something like 1200 calories. But on the same menu the Baked version of Buffalo Chicken Wings with dressing and carrot and celery sticks came in at a mere 535 calories. Anytime I can save 665 calories at a clip, I’m there. Besides, I love the things. The heat of the hot sauce dipped into the creamy blue cheese dressing, the crunch of the skin and tender meat underneath are irresistible. And of course, the wings were way less expensive than the Chicken Caesar. So I pretty much adopted them as my blue plate special from then on. I also made them any number of ways at home. In the land of budget cooking, Chicken Wings take the prize. But none were ever as delicious as the ambrosial wing recipe cooked up by Atlanta’s Richard Blais, ex Top Chef All Stars winner and proprietor of a new Atlanta restaurant called “The Spence” (5th Street NW, Atlanta GA 30308 Tel: 404-892-9111.
According to Food and Wine, where I found the original recipe, Richard was ‘exploring his British roots’ when he developed this recipe for wings. Since I actually found a You Tube video of someone teaching Brits how to eat Chicken Wings, I think we can safely assume that the wings are the least British things about the recipe. What makes them British is their use of Lemon Curd, the only brand of which I could find in our supermarket was Robertson’s (“By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Manufacturers of Cakes and Culinary Products”) made in Long Sutton, Spalding, Lincolnshire. So there! And then of course, there’s the addition, in the batter, of classic malty English bitter. That’s Malt Liquor to us Yanks. The recipe recommends Fuller’s London Pride. I confess: I got the Lemon Curd but I was perfectly happy using ½ cup of Heineken in lieu of the Bitter. And my other diversion from the original was that it called for ½ cup of rice flour and ½ cup of all-purpose flour. I used 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Recipe for Hot and Sticky Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
*I used 11 whole chicken wings but made the entire recipe for the sauce.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Scrape the excess batter from the wings. Working in batches, fry the wings in the hot oil for 3 minutes, until the crust is just set and pale golden.
Drain on a wire rack and air-dry for 10 minutes.