I've been craving spicy food like it's going out of style lately. I wanted to take my spice to the next level from my usual jalapeño and serrano dealings. It was time to break out the habañero, something I usually avoid in the supermarket, but this time I was not to be swayed, I was going to make hot wings, and by goodness they were going to be like the flames of the sun in my mouth. Any hot wing lover knows that you need beer to go with your wings. During a recent trip to Fairway Market in Stamford I found a brand of gluten-free beer that I had never seen before called Green's Gluten Free Beer.
There were three different kinds of Green's beer on the shelf and as I stood there contemplating which one to get, I thought, why not do a beer tasting? I mean I was already going to indulge in hot wings, so I might as well take it to that next level and really make it a calorie busting meal right? After consulting with the hubby, who wholeheartedly (of course) agreed to a beer tasting, we went home to begin the feast. Seeing as I was already planning on consuming an inordinate amount of calories between the hot wings and beer combined, I decided to go the lighter route with a side dish and opted to make coleslaw.
Finding a ubiquitous coleslaw recipe online is like hunting for a unicorn. I got fed up after reading site after site, not finding exactly the recipe I was thinking of in my head and decided to make a Frankenstein recipe from several sites, which produced a pretty good end result I must say! Onto the wings, I had originally intended to do a mango habañero sauce for my wings, but somewhere after the third glass of wine (um, yeah it was a beer and wine kind of night), I forgot what I was planning and just started slicing habañeros and layering honey on my wings, same difference right?
I have a fabulous recipe for wings, straight from Food & Wine mag. They are baked instead of fried, which I love because it spares my stove top the gross layer of oil that mocks me after cooking anything remotely oily. They are also insanely easy to make, you put some cooking spray on a baking sheet, put your chicken on the baking sheet, spray another layer of oil and you're good to go for the next 45 minutes.
If you want to make the wings simply follow the directions for flouring the wings, season with spices as you like and bake. After baking, apply hot sauce liberally, a pat of butter and add honey to taste. My habañeros were kind of wimpy. I ate a piece right off the cutting board, expecting a righteous burn, but it was pretty mediocre at best. I put the whole habanero into the sauce, seeds and all, as I wanted to extract every last bit of spice from the pepper. The honey was a great adddition and I just added enough to taste, not making it overly sweet, but definitely tempering the hot sauce that my chicken was marinating in.
Oh and I don't want to forget about the beer. I poured out my three selections - the Tripel Blonde Ale, Amber Ale and Dubbel Dark Ale. We started the tasting with the Triple Blonde Ale, which reminded me of cider in a way, with a very fruity, almost apple taste. I wasn't a big fan of the Tripel Blonde Ale and later discovered that it contained the highest amount of calories and the most alcohol content out of the three beers - gotta take the good with the bad I suppose!
The Amber Ale was my favorite, reminding me most of that classic beer taste, although it was kind of reminiscent of Sam Adams, which is not a beer I was particular fond of back in the day. I was more of a Molson Ice person, don't ask me why.
The Dubbel Dark Ale was the most mysterious and subtle of all, with practically no taste. I was expecting a rich, dark flavor and it did not deliver. I was a bit disappointed as I was really hoping for something super flavorful, but alas, it was like drinking fizzy water that had a splash of beer in it. I'd show you a picture, but I apparently was too inebriated to take one. :)
The dinner as a whole only whet my appetite for all things spicy. My mind is focused on taking the spice to the next level with my dinners next week. Any suggestions?