I have discovered that if we want to eat something edible, dinner cannot be complicated. There are simply too many kids trying to get into things, bickering and scavenging for floor snacks in this house. I’ve tried the whole Traditional Dinner and that was as successful as trying to keep the baby from eating everything he finds on the floor – I’m positive he throws half of his Cheerios on the floor for later snacks while he’s about.
These sizeable chicken wings have been kicking around the freezer for a couple of weeks. They hail from Little Dorset farms, purveyors of excellent local meats that are grown without antibiotics or nasty stuff of questionable origin. As a result, the meat is very flavourful and fulfilling to eat – I don’t eat as much meat because what I do have is extraordinarily satisfying. That sounds like I’m blasé about it – I’m not. Ever eat something rather meh then you eat too much because, what the hell? That doesn’t happen here. The chicken is perfectly chicken and delicious. It isn’t an approximation if chicken.
Not everyone may be familiar with fish sauce which is a staple in our kitchen. It adds an umami flavour to the dish -very salty and savoury. I like to combine it with sesame oil and soy sauce in equal parts to balance and those elements are also featured in this recipe.
For balance in he dish, which is somewhat Asian in style – I kind of hate that catch-all as it usually means anything with ginger or a thick, red sauce, which is conspicuously absent from my chicken wings and broad beans.
I’ve kept the chicken summer light and while it appears to have a lot of components, the steps take a bit so you can walk away to fish crayons out of a baby’s mouth, do secret handshakes and play guess the song.
Chicken Wings and Broad Beans
A note: I used 8 chicken and each one equalled an approximate chicken thigh.
3 carrots, chopped
quart of broad beans, ends snapped off
8 chicken wings (or thighs)
Optional: Scoop of tomatillo salsa
To dust the chicken:
Approximately two tablespoons flour (or a handful)
white pepper (this has more heat than black pepper, be warned)
1. Heat olive oil in saucepan – I used a large wok style and highly recommend it.
2. Cook onions until translucent. To avoid burning, keep heat at medium to low. Toss in broad beans and carrots and toss to warm. Set aside.
3. Prepare the chicken wings by tossing in the dusting. The measurements are largely approximate for the spices and salt, it’s your preference.
4. Add a bit more olive oil to pan and bring up to medium/high heat then toss in the chicken to brown.
5. Once chicken is browned, add the vegetables.
6. Add liberal amount of the lemon juice and soy and fish sauces – tablespoon of each, it is important to use equal amounts. Lower the heat just a smidge and cover with a pot lid. Allow to cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut into the thickest part mod the largest piece of chicken.
Optional extra step: If the liquid is starting to burn down, feel free to toss in more of each in equal parts. It will just make the sauce richer. The flour dusting you used on the wings will thicken all this liquid splendidly into a delicious, tangy sauce. The optional tomatillo salsa adds a kick.