Hot Honey Lime Chicken Wings

Friday, March 14, 2014

Every recipe has a story. Here's these chicken wings'.

Actually, before we get into the wings, here's a thing about me. I have a hard time sitting still. It's why I'm not going to finish 20 books by July (but it's why I've started 30 since July). I bite off a lot more than I can chew. I have a hard time saying no. I feel I constantly have to be doing something. There's just so much to do. My mind goes through a thousand thoughts a minute. I have to schedule relaxing weekends.

Two weeks ago, on my way to the dentist, on a bus I wouldn't be on otherwise, I met a girl named Tre. She was my age, sat down next to me and told me she had just come from Chipotle. We discussed our mutual love for it and slowly transitioned to more serious topics. Before she left, Tre told me to take more time for myself. She gave me an analogy. She told me to compare myself to a cell phone battery. If I keep letting people borrow the cell phone or use it mindlessly myself, it'll die, and I won't get to use it when I need to. But if I take it home, let it charge, I'll be able to use it and so will others. She told me to stay kind but also more mindful. We exchanged numbers. We hugged. It was the strangest public transportation ride to date.

The following Sunday I made these chicken wings. I sat around while they prepped in the fridge for five hours, then Brian and I ate them hovering over the oven, wiping the sauce all over the place. We relaxed, weren't concerned with the time, were in no rush. Similarly, this past Sunday Brian made a Stromboli, and we sat on the kitchen floor, talking, while it cooked in the oven.

While it's a new practice, I'm loving these relaxing Sunday nights. I look forward to them. They make Mondays a little easier. I feel relaxed. I feel it's what weekends are all about. So, it started with these chicken wings, and it's going to keep going. Thanks Tre.


For chicken:
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 pounds chicken wings

For sauce: 
1/4 cup honey
Juice from one lime
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes 
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Prep the chicken: wash the chicken wings, followed by drying them off thoroughly using paper towels. In a medium bowl, mix together the baking powder and salt. Holding a wing over the bowl, lightly sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the salt and baking powder mixture. Transfer the chicken to the wire rack and repeat the sprinkling-process with the remaining chicken. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the chicken to dry, uncovered, for at least four hours, ideally eight hours. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set the chicken on the racks aside for a second. Line the baking sheet with a piece of parchment or foil. Transfer the chicken wings to the lined baking sheet, about one inch from each other. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Next, flip the chicken and cook for an additional 25 minutes, until the chicken skins are crisp and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, garlic powder, red chile flakes, smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander and ground ginger.

Brush the cooked chicken liberally with the honey-lime sauce. Serve with wedges of lime and garnish with sliced green onion.

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