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Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison are quite a team: inventive author and artistic photographer. Together they have produced a raft of books and you may well have seen them on prominent display. Their The Great Book of Wings [2011] and The Great Ribs Book [2012] are ones that, for example, Barnes and Noble often uses to grace the entryway into the bookstores. There they are, stacked high, and ready for you to grab before you even enter that second front door.

Next time you see one and are tempted, you should succumb. Some temptations are good.

This is a tough week if you are a chicken. On Sunday, millions and millions of wings will be consumed during the hours of Super Bowl festivities. Yes, you can just do the normal hot sauce recipe for your wings. Or, you can do something quite exceptional applying one of Hugh’s obviously favorite recipes.

Hugh has a love for heat and knows the favorable effects of mitigating heat with sweet. I already posted the recipe way below for a Strawberry-Habanero Marinade for ribs from The Great Ribs Book. The first recipe below, for chicken wings, uses strawberry and habanero, too, as a marinade and a glaze for your chicken wings. The two recipes are modestly different: one uses habaneros, the other habanero hot sauce; soy is used for the ribs but not for the wings.

I don’t think the differences are substantial, but they do inspire. You can play with these recipes. Use hoisin sauce instead of soy, and apply that rib marinade to your wings. You can employ lemon or orange juice in addition to or in place of the lime juice. Try blackberry jam instead of strawberry. You really cannot make a mistake here, but you just might invent something spectacular.

If you do experiment and find a new combination that tickles your mouth and inspires a patina of sweat, please write me and let’s share your idea with everyone.


BBQ Wings with Habanero-Strawberry Glaze

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 24 chicken wings
  • 1 cup strawberry jam
  • Grated or minced zest from 4 limes
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt ½
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 habanero chiles, minced, including the seeds

Preparation:

Cut off the wing tips and save them for making stock. In a bowl large enough to hold the wings, combine all the remaining ingredients. Add the wings, and mix thoroughly. Marinate the wings in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours (the longer, the better).

If using a gas barbecue or an indoor grill, preheat to medium (350°F). If using charcoal or wood, prepare a fire. Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. When the gas barbecue or indoor grill is preheated or the coals or wood are ash covered, brush the grill with oil, then add the chicken wings. Regulate the heat so that it remains at a medium temperature. Grill the chicken wings for about 30 minutes with the barbecue covered. Turn the wings every 5 minutes, basting them on both sides with the reserved marinade. The chicken wings are done when the skin turns an even mahogany color and the meat is tender.

Remove the chicken wings from the barbecue. Cut the wings in half through the joint. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Source: The Great Wings by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison


Strawberry-Habanero Marinade

Yield: about 1 ¼ cups or enough for 2 full sides of spareribs

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup strawberry jam
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons habanero hot sauce
  • ¼ cup finely minced ginger
  • ¼ cup minced mint leaves

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients and whisk or stir well to create a uniform mixture. No cooking is necessary.

Source: The Great Ribs Book by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison