Fathers’ Day is coming up. I come from a long line of strong, kind dads and I know I won the lottery. I remember the day my dad taught me how to ride a bike like I am still there – the sun, the texture of the sidewalk, my sparkly turquoise bike with handle streamers! Dad held onto the back and ran with me on my wobbly wheels. “Don’t let go Daddy, Don’t let go”, I remember yelling. Then suddenly I was sailing and he had to let go because he couldn’t keep up. I remember freedom and feeling like I was flying. Hey thanks Dad. You have always been there for me and I am there for you.
Aileen made a guy-themed meal to celebrate Father’s Day. Because we really do like our dads and we want to keep them around for a long time, she took an old favourite and made it healthier. Crispy tastes so good! These baked wings are straightforward to make, and crispy without the hassle of deep frying at home.
A light honey garlic sauce coating pits a little sweetness against a little saltiness to bring out the flavour of the meat. Gord liked that the subtle sauce has none of the goopiness that often coats a plate of restaurant wings. Baked wings keep well – OK the extras kept for about an hour in the fridge before they disappeared. But if you do set some wings aside, they won’t get soggy when they cool like deep fried wings do.
What do you serve with crispy wings but celery sticks and blue cheese dip? Aileen’s dip is yummier and healthier than the stuff you order off a menu. Am I bragging again? Most blue cheese dips are made of sour cream, mayo, and not enough blue cheese because it’s a bit costly. Her dip uses creamy no-fat Greek yogurt and plenty of tasty blue cheese. Yes the cheese isn’t fat free but you’ve got to have some fun don’t you?
- 3⅓ lbs /1.5 kg Chicken Wings, tips removed and drumette and wingette separated
- 1½ tbsp /22 ml baking powder
- 1 tsp /5 ml paprika
- ¼ tsp /1.25 ml salt
- ¼ tsp /1.25 ml pepper
- 1 tsp /5 ml chili flakes, optional to taste
- 1 c /240 ml Honey
- 3 medium cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp /30 ml Soy Sauce, preferably Japanese
- 2 Celery stalks to make 8 sticks
- ½ c /120 ml Blue Cheese, crumbled
- ¾ c /180 ml non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt, preferably a creamy brand like Libertê
- ½ Lemon, juiced (approx. 2 tbsp /30 ml)
- ¼ tsp /1.25 ml Salt
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed to a paste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Remove tips from wings and separate drumette and wingette. Optional – French the drumettes by pushing the meat down to towards the meaty end of the drumette, creating a lollipop shape)
- Mix spice coating in large bowl. Place chicken wings into the spice mixture and toss to coat.
- Place coated wings on baking tray and store in fridge for at least an hour or overnight. Use a spiked silicone mat or wire rack for more even cooking and to let fat drip away from the meat. (The surface of the uncooked wings dries while they sit so that the baked wings will be crispy.)
- Preheat oven to 375F /190C and bake for 45 minutes.
- Place all sauce ingredients into small pot.
- Bring to a boil at medium heat, stirring occasionally. (approx. 10 mins.)
- Dip chicken wings in sauce to coat. Do this just before serving to preserve crispiness.
- Cut celery stalks into finger-sized sticks.
- In medium bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, salt and garlic.
- Finely crumble blue cheese and place into the bowl and stir well. Cheese will be well mixed into the dip but the dip should be slightly lumpy.
- Total Cooking time for the wings does not include the time that wings sit in the fridge before you put them in the oven.
Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioneds with a Hint of Maple Syrup
Aileen was looking for a bold drink to pair with the wings, and she chose bacon-infused bourbon with a hint of maple. In our experience you need very smoky bacon or the bourbon overpowers any bacon flavour. Make ahead and stir in lots of ice to serve.
So here you go Dads. Please help yourself to something made just for you.
With love, Aileen & Dorothy
YOU Next Year Principle
Food is love. Making delicious, healthy food for someone you love is showing you care.
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.