Thursday, January 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Sticky Wings, a #wingweek guest post

Please help me welcome my second #wingweek guest poster, Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories. Today Karen is sharing some beautifully sticky wings that are sweet, and just a little bit spicy—plus they're made in the slow cooker (my current favorite way to make a big batch of wings...or a small one.)!
Slow Cooker Sticky Wings, a #wingweek guest post from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Hi!! Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories here! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be contributing this post to girlichef. Heather is one of the most creative cooks and prolific bloggers out there, and you can always find something delicious here. Heather is one talented woman and she writes from her heart.

These slow cooker sticky wings are sweet, slightly spicy, and, of course sticky. Plus, they are super easy to make. They are cooked on low in a slow cooker for 4 hours, brushed with a sticky sauce, and then broiled on both sides to give them a wonderful char. You get the best of both worlds; fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness from the slow cooker, and a crispy charred skin from the broiler.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bloody Mary Chicken Wings {Food Fanatic} #wingweek

Bloody Mary Wings photo
When January rolls around, so many people are focused on finding recipes to back up their resolutions; this usually means lighter fare. Words like healthy, skinny, and lightened-up take over the search bar. I totally get that. The holidays kick my butt, too. For me though, January triggers something entirely different—a craving for chicken wings!

I think wings are a natural accompaniment to January. Or maybe I should say they're a natural accompaniment to football and the art of gathering around the television eating things with your fingers. Now, I realize that this is actually the tail end of the season, but for one reason or another, it's bowl games and play-offs that trigger my desire for wings.

I'm pretty sure I look like a madwoman, preparing for the chicken apocalypse, as I stack every last package of chicken wings and chicken drumettes from the cooler into my shopping cart. Should I even mention what happens once I get all that chicken home? Let's just say that if a fridge was a pair of jeans, I'd need a pair of pliers to zip them up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crisped Ginger-Soy Chicken Wings + Beer Pairing, a #wingweek guest post

Please help me welcome my first #wingweek guest poster, Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I'm pretty thrilled that I inspired her to make chicken wings in her own kitchen for the very first time! Her Crispy Ginger-Soy Wings sound like they are bursting with flavor, plus, she's offered up a beer pairing to go along with her wings. No wonder I like this girl.
Crisped Ginger-Soy Chicken Wings + Beer Pairing, a #wingweek guest post from Culinary Adventures with Camilla at
When Heather posted that she was looking for some chicken wing guest posts this month, I almost skipped reading the rest of the request. Chicken wings?!? I thought. I don't fry.  I remember watching a cooking show about chicken wings and there seemed to be a complicated dance between the fryer and the oven. And, remember: I don't fry.

But as I finished reading her post, I decided that this would be a good culinary challenge, one that I definitely wanted to complete: make tasty, crispy wings without frying. Challenge accepted.

Good chicken wings are about great flavor and great texture. I did it! This has both.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Sweet 'n Tangy Glazed Chicken Wings #wingweek

Slow Cooker Sweet 'n Tangy Glazed Chicken Wings
Until recently, I'd never really thought about making chicken wings in the slow cooker. It was either baked, fried, or if I happened to think about it while the grill was fired up, I'd throw some on there. I don't know if I just didn't pay attention before, but as soon as I saw one recipe for crockpot wings, I've been seeing them around every corner. It's like the buying a new car syndrome (see a beautiful car, buy it, then suddenly everybody and their mother is driving the exact same car).

I figured it was finally time to throw some wings in the slow cooker and see what came out. I bet you can guess. Tender deliciousness, of course. I mean, they were cooked in a slow cooker! The result was a batch of wings just threatening to fall off the bone. But boy, were they ugly. Half the fun of eating wings is a crispy skin, and obviously you can't achieve that in a wet environment.

The trick is lifting them carefully from the crock, setting them onto a rack, and then saucing them up and sliding them under a hot broiler. That skin will crisp up in no time, and all you have to do is give it a couple of sauces and a couple of turns. Minimal finishing work for such amazing results.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chicken Wings: how to break them down + how to cook them #wingweek

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a whole chicken wing, I prefer cutting up my wings into smaller sections before preparing them for game day or appetizers. It really is as easy as one, two, three! Today I'm kicking off #wingweek with a simple tutorial on how to break down chicken wings into easy-to-nibble portions, and also sharing five different cooking methods to prepare those wings with.
Break down a whole chicken wing in seconds via #wingweek
Simple Steps to quickly Breaking Down Whole Chicken Wings:
  1. Locate the two joints by using your fingers. You should be able to feel where they connect.
  2. Use a pair of kitchen shears to snip through the center of each joint, leaving you with three parts: the Drumette, the Wingette (often called a Flat), and the tip.
  3. Use the Drumettes and Wingettes in your recipe. I like to store all my wing tips in a large freezer bag (just adding them as I get them) to add to a batch of chicken or poultry stock, but you can discard them if you don't think you'll use them.
Seriously, it doesn't get much simpler than that. Okay, it kind of does—most markets carry packages of drumettes in their chicken sections. I admit to buying them like this from time to time, but it's nice to know that you don't have to, isn't it? Plus, I like having both of the wing sections to choose from.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Terminally Hip Avocado Toast inspired by The Divorce Diet

Terminally Hip Avocado Toast inspired by The Divorce Diet
The Divorce Diet is dedicated to every woman who ever walked away from a relationship—or a diet.

While The Divorce Diet is not a diet book, it is a book that centers around divorce and diets. Internal monologue is basically how I would describe the tone of this story. We're introduced to our main character, Abigail, as she lies in bed contemplating life as a new mother, the changes in her body and marriage, and another main character in the story—her diet book (and the basis for her imaginary guru), Losing Weight the Natural Way (which ironically includes mostly "low fat" items you purchase from the grocery store).

As if trying to navigate motherhood and wifehood when you're 25 isn't enough, Abigail soon discovers that she'll also have to navigate being a divorced young mother of a baby...without a job or a house.

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this story at first. Abigail is somewhat annoying and grating, but as the story went on and we got to know her better, my attitude towards her shifted. I imagined myself in her shoes. I remembered what it was like to be a single mother at that age. I understood the feeling of being lost and alone. I remembered waiting tables and I remembered how amazing it felt (and still does) to cook—and do it really well—for people. Let's just say, it grew on me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Chapati, aka Roti (Indian Flatbread) #BreadBakingBabes

Chapati, aka Roti (Indian Flatbread)
It never ceases to amaze me the amazing things that result from using only three simple ingredients: flour, salt, and water. That is exactly the case with this month's Bread Baking Babes challenge—Chapatis (Roti), issued by BBBabe Elizabeth. Elizabeth mentioned that "something nice and plain after all our excesses over the holidays" was in order. I had to agree. Even though I didn't make the gorgeous Nutella Brioche flowers that the BBBabes made last month, there was still excess.

As soon as I read through the instructions for making Chapatis, I realized that making them is basically like making flour tortillas. It's pretty amazing how so many different cultures make a very similar version of the same food, don't you think? Each may have a slightly different method, or use a slightly different technique or tool. Different, but not.

Elizabeth made a very helpful video (included after the recipe below) that actually helped me see the major difference between making tortillas and making chapatis. Of course, she uses an electric stove, and I use a gas stove, and that actually makes a difference, as well.

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