Around here, the roasting of a whole chicken is a pretty regular occurrence. Nothing beats a bird hot out of the oven, and once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s no going back to store bought rotisserie. I like to cook a whole chicken at the beginning of the week, have leftovers accessible for extra busy nights, and a bunch of bones to make an amazing broth. Luckily, my house only has two eaters in it, so there’s no fighting over the chicken wings.
The wings are my favorite, and my husband loves me so much, he sometimes lets me have both. Such a gentleman he is.
So while I love a whole chicken, sometimes an oven full of juicy wings is what you really want. Especially when they are smothered in a sticky, bourbon infused sauce.
Then they are definitely what you want.
Americans seem to have an infatuation with sauces, and also sweet things. It was something that astounded K when he and I first relocated here from Greece. “Why is everything so sweet?” And this was coming from a man who has never declined an offer to dessert.
The reason everything is so sweet is because we load it all with sugar, or more accurately, corn syrup. The sweet stuff hides everywhere, and in places that seem to have no need for it, resulting in the average American eating 130 pounds of it each year. Bottled sauces are one of the worst offenders, and dousing your food in them isn’t something that I would recommend, especially when you’ve taken the effort to source responsibly raised meat (you are doing that, right?)
That being said, there is nothing wrong with a little sweet here and there- just as long as it’s coming from naturally sweet sources that don’t require a lot of refining to get them that way.
This sauce is super easy and doesn’t take a degree in chemistry to decipher the ingredient list. Honey, bourbon, balsamic vinegar. Some black pepper and red chili flakes if you are like me and crave a little heat. Got to have something to balance out the sweet.
So chicken wings covered in sticky sauce can in fact be a part of a real food diet, as long as you’re careful about sourcing your ingredients.
You’re welcome for that, by the way.
These saucy wings pair perfectly with the Granny Smith apple slaw I decided to match them up with. Granny Smiths are more tart than other apple varieties due to their lower sugar content. I love how crunchy they are, and I can never resist picking up a few because they look so pretty sitting in my kitchen until we eat them.
Edible decor is something I’m really into.
And so are these wings, although they didn’t last long enough to be used as decoration, pretty as they are. They quickly turned into a pile of bones that have since made their way to my freezer, destined to become an amazing pot of broth. One meal, turned into two, and nothing wasted. Reason enough to make another oven full of wings, I think.
The best part of following a real food diet is that you never have to sacrifice taste. When you eat to nourish your body, delicious food is just a convenient benefit.
- 3.5 lbs chicken wings (organic or pasture raised)
- salt, pepper
- drizzle of olive oil
- 3 oz bourbon
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 2 granny smith apples
- 3 tbs greek yogurt
- juice of two lemons
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard
- tablespoon honey
- fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Remove chicken wings from refrigerator to take off the chill. Preheat oven to 400.
- Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet, use a metal rack if you prefer crispy chicken wings. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake wings for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- While wings bake, add all ingredients for sauce into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 15 minutes) Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- While sauce reduces, mix greek yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
- Finely slice cabbage and apples and chop parsley leaves. Add to mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- After 30 minutes of baking, remove chicken wings and transfer to mixing bowl. Pour 3/4 of sauce over wings, using tongs to toss and coat. Return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.
- Transfer wings to serving dish and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve with slaw.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.