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Day 34: Super Bowl braised beans with sticky chicken

I’m just about to leave for Toronto, but am leaving dinner behind. It takes the edge off the guilt, a little.

On Friday morning we had a little pre-Super Bowl party in the studio at CBC radio. As Jen Keene so aptly put it, it was the perfect Super Bowl party: tons of food, and we didn’t have to watch football.

I made shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and quickly cooked, then dipped in pesto (my sister and I already have plans to have a Friday night couch dinner of these sometime very soon, so just wait for that one), chocolate panini, quesadillas with leftover roast chicken, black beans, sauteed mushrooms and roasted red peppers, and chicken drumsticks and thighs, skinned and done up like chicken wings.

I love wings, but really, they are mostly skin and fat, very little meat. Chicken little. I do love eating them with my fingers though, particularly when they are sweet and sticky enough to require stacks of napkins, or better – wet wipes. So here’s my tip for the day: any chicken wing recipe can be made with skinless chicken drums or thighs. Just cook them a little longer, since they’re bigger. You’ll never miss the skin.

I made these with equal parts soy sauce and honey or maple syrup (actually, come to think of it, I used Lyle’s Golden syrup – mostly to use it up so that I’d stop wanting to eat it on toast with butter), a squirt of chili sauce, a few cloves of crushed garlic and a spoonful of grated ginger. Mix this all up in a bowl or baggie, and add the chicken pieces to it, tossing to coat. Let them sit for a few hours or overnight, then bake them in a 400F oven for about an hour, turning as you need to until they are cooked and the sauce is darkened and thick. If there’s lots left over, you can reduce it in a small pot on the stovetop for dipping, or add a little cornstarch to slightly thicken it instead.

After the show, there were a lot of leftovers – I have a bad habit of making too much food (better to overestimate than under, I always think, being a fan of leftovers) and Michael, the director, brought a crock pot full of his own wings as well. So I took a few legs and thighs home for Mike and W, swimming in all the excess sauce left from the at the bottom of the bowl. I hate to throw food out, so it occurred to me that that sweet, chickeny sauce would make an excellent pot of baked beans. And wait – why be limited to pork with beans? I threw the whole lot in the slow cooker (although a nice sturdy pot, like this bean pot my friend Sue got me years ago, would work as well) with a chopped up onion, a can of red kidney beans and a can of white kidney beans. They may have benefited from a squirt of mustard and chug of Worcestershire sauce, too. They simmered for a few hours and looked great, with the meat pulling itself off the bones.

Too bad I won’t be around to actually taste them.


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