Thanks so much, Karin, for inviting me to share a little of myself with your friends and readers today. Hi, everyone. It’s lovely to be here.
For those who don’t know me, I’m an Indie editor and author of erotic romance best known for The Divine Trilogy. The final book in the trilogy, Surreal, was a 2015 Golden Flogger Award Finalist.
I’m also part of an awesome group of ladies known as The Crazy Lady Authors. We give each other unconditional support in addition to putting out a variety of collections for reading enjoyment. Our permanent release is Cooking with The Crazy Lady Authors.
Those who do know me, know me for my flavorful food in addition to my spicy words. Which is why when considering what ‘creative’ side of myself would be best to share, rather than talk about cross-stitching or quilting, I thought I’d bring a recipe today for our Semi Chicken Wings.
Let me start by explaining that first and foremost, I’m a mother to three incredible spawn and wife to an all-around amazing Husband. If it weren’t for their love and support, I wouldn’t be doing the author/editor thing now. There is also zero doubt in my heart or head that without the partnership my Husband and I began developing back in high school, our kids wouldn’t be the upstanding people they’ve turned into. What I’m getting at, is that when I create a dish or plot out a story, the finished product is the result of more than just my efforts. A piece of me goes into every creation right alongside parts of my everyday life and the people in it. Hubby and I are fond of looking at each other over the messy dinner table, as everyone leans back to pat their full bellies, and smiling as we say in unison, “We make good things together,” because we really do.
Right, I promised you Semi Chicken Wings. My gang loves getting to splurge on tasty, saucy chicken wings. The downside is that these treats are not even close to being healthy, and getting that fix can put a dent in the wallet. Our work around for discovering food we really like? Take it back to our own kitchen and make it Semi-homemade and Semi-healthy on a budget we can afford. With a little bit of prep time, you can have wings at home without all the guilt.
Will serve 2-3 adult appetites
STEP 1: BRINE for 12-24 hours in an air tight container*
2-3 pounds of chicken (wings, drumettes, and/or boneless thighs)
4 cups water
¼ c granulated sugar
¼ c + 1T kosher salt
¼ c hot sauce (use your favorite OR if you don’t like heat, you can also use your favorite barbecue sauce)
¼ c pickle juice (we hold onto ours as the pickles get eaten for this very reason!)
1T minced garlic
1-2 bay leaves
*Ziploc makes a jumbo 2.5 gallon bag that is great for this if you don’t have a sealable container large enough.
STEP 2: COOKING the chicken
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
After brining, drain your chicken. A very light rinse is okay to get some of the salt off, but you don’t want to wash away all that flavor you’ve just invested hours in getting on your bird.
Dredge in seasoned flour. We like black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Note the lack of salt in the flour. Because of the salt in the brine, and the additional salt which will be in your sauces, if you salt at this step, your end product will be too salty to eat. Trust me, speaking from experience here. You also want to keep your seasonings at this step basic, so that nothing competes with sauce flavor later.
Evenly space your dredged chicken onto baking sheets treated with a light spray of cooking oil; give the top of the chicken a light spritz, too.
Bake for about an hour, and then turn your pieces over and increase the temperature about 50 degrees and bake for about another hour.
You always have the option of stopping here and having some amazing baked chicken that is fall off the bone yummy.
STEP 3: SAUCING the chicken
Here’s where the ‘semi homemade’ comes in. The amount of fat and salt which makes it into your sauces is in YOUR hands. Now, the secret to a lush wing sauce is… butter. You can go big with salted and a full stick per sauce, or you can play it safe with unsalted butter and tone it down to 1-2 T per sauce.
Hot Wing: ½ c of your favorite hot sauce, butter
Teriyaki: 2 T honey, 2 T soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 T fresh grated ginger, butter
BBQ: ½ c of your favorite barbecue sauce, 1 T honey, butter
Garlic Parmesan: 1 stick butter, 1 T minced garlic, ¼ c grated Parmesan, black pepper
Have fun; get creative with flavors you like. We tend to make up two or three sauces each time we do wings. Fries or potato salad and a green salad laid out for the family. Ring the dinner bell and announce that the Wing Bar is open. Oh, and don’t forget the napkins.
R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of a music.
A native ‘mutt,’ Hargrave has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories on location in South Carolina and Texas, but its anybody’s guess as to what the genre will be!
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