Chicken

Elle’s Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Elle's Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

This weekend food bloggers around the world are getting together to celebrate the life of a fellow blogger, Elle, from Elle’s New England Kitchen. Elle left this world suddenly and unexpectedly on January 28.  Leaving behind 4 young children. Elle was only 45.

Elle and I met online, when we both started blogging back in 2008. We exchanged many emails, commented on each other’s posts and I could just feel how friendly, generous, kind Elle was. She had a good sense of humor too.

The news of Elle’s sudden death came as a shock to those who knew her and as a reminder once again that life can be so unpredictable. I hope her family will find comfort in knowing that Elle was a beautiful soul, loved by many. You just have to be special to earn that love. Elle was special. She will be missed.

To remember and honor Elle’s life, today I am posting a recipe from her blog. I made Elle’s easy  teriyaki chicken wings. We are a family of wing lovers and we all ate the wings with gusto. They  literally flew off the plates. Thank you, Elle.  I only regret not making the wings before so that I could tell you how much we loved them and that I would make them again and again…

Friends, please visit Elle’s food blog for her delicious recipes and stories. She has many. And don’t wait too long to make Elle’s chicken wings. You will just love them.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

We start by cutting the wings in two pieces.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Then we coat the wings with marinade.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

We  bake the wings, then watch them fly off the plates!

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Wings
Adapted from Elle’s New England Kitchen

If you don’t have powdered ginger or powdered garlic, Elle suggests using fresh ginger or garlic. Grate just enough to your taste and add to the marinade. For hot wings, add some crushed hot red pepper to taste.

Ingredients:

4 pounds chicken wings
1 cup soy sauce (I used law-sodium)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
A little more than 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
A little more than 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Method:

Cut each chicken wing into two pieces to obtain a drumstick and the wing part. In a large mixing bowl combine the soy sauce, sugar, oil, powdered ginger and garlic. Stir to mix well. Add the chicken wings. Stir to coal the chicken well with the marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate for at least 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the wings in one layer on a baking sheet (discard the marinade in the  bowl). Bake for 1 hour, or until the wings are golden. If a lot of juices release during baking, gently pour them off. The wings should not be saucy but should be a little sticky.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Saj-Fried Chicken with Vegetables

Saj-Fried Chicken with Vegetables

Saj-Fried Chicken with Vegetables

What fried? Saj-fried? You may ask.

And I will explain. Saj is a nifty kitchen utensil, my friends. And it has a long history.

Before the invention of frying pans and a gas stove, Azerbaijanis used a saj, a slightly dome shaped iron pan that resembles a shallow wok, both for cooking and bread making, depending on the side used. Rounded side up, saj was used for baking flatbreads, plain and filled, and Azerbaijani pancakes and crepes, while inverted to the hollowed side, it was used to cook various dishes. Actually it is still used for the same  purposes.

Traditionally saj is placed directly over fire or wooden coals. In the days of yore, ever traveling nomads used to carry it with themselves, using it when necessary to satisfying all the baking and cooking needs. First saj found on the territory of Azerbaijan was made of clay and dates back to as long as 4 thousand years BC. Beginning from the XVIIth century clay saj was replaced with a larger and sturdier cast iron saj, that is used today.

Dishes cooked in a saj are called sajichi, that can be literally translated as “inside the saj.” Meat, chicken, fish – anything can be fried on a good cast-iron saj. The oldest saj dish is called saj-govurma, in which succulent cuts of meat and sheep’s tail fat are browned in butter, with onion added. So delicious! (That recipe will be in my cookbook).

Saj cooked dishes are served hot right off the saj that is mounted onto a sajayag, a three legged stand. I don’t own a sajayag, so my saj ends up landing on the table without any “legs.” I use a 13-inch saj for cooking (you can replace it with an equally sized wok, or Spanish paella pan, or a good old non-stick frying pan, but remember the effect will not be the same).

Below is the recipe for chicken cooked in a saj with vegetables. A typical sajichi toyug will have pieces of chicken and slices of vegetables browned separately in butter on a saj then combined together right on it and served. This recipe, although it follows the basic principle, has a new flair to it – here, the chicken is cooked drenched in a piquant tomato sauce that adds nicely to the finished dish. I received the recipe from the charming Mehriban Alizada in Baku. Note that I cook this dish on a gas stove – a deviation from the traditional method, but better than nothing. Nush olsun! Enjoy!

Saj-Fried Chicken with Vegetables (Sajichi Toyug)


Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 medium chicken (about 3 pounds), cut into serving size pieces (leave the carcass for broth purpose, for other uses) or 2 pounds combination of chicken parts, such as legs, thighs, breast and wings
About 1/2 cup clarified butter (you can use regular unsalted butter with a few spoons oil added to it – this will prevent the butter from burning)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut lengthways into medium-thick slices
2 medium green bell peppers (you can use a combination of green and red), cored, seeded and cut into quarters lenghways
Handful of white mushrooms, wipe cleaned, sliced into half, or if big, into three
2 meduim dark-skinned eggplants, cut into medium-thick slices lenghways (remove bitterness: put slices in a colander placed in a sink, sprinkle generally with salt, put a weight on top, let sit about 20 minutes, gently squeeze the bitter juices, rinse and pat dry).
2-3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into halves or wedges (small tomatoes can be left whole)

For the Sauce:
1 cup chicken broth (from the recipe)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider
3 tablespoosn tomato paste
6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt
Ground black pepper

Directions:

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