When I was first approached about working with #powerupwithgreens with Sobeys, I was like, what would be the best way to get more greens into a chicken wing dish? What about, directly into the wing itself? But there's a bunch of, you know, bones and stuff inside right? Not when I was done with them.
Again, I took this as a great challenge to do something I've never seen before, and to keep pushing that chicken wing envelope. Jalapeno Popper Wings; a deboned chicken wing stuffed with cream cheese and greens was literally that envelope.
I had my good buddy Jason on hand again with me while creating these wings, and he was once again extremely helpful. He took photos, helped with prep - he even scrubbed my deep fryer down. If that's not friendship I don't know what is . . .
JALAPENO POPPER WINGS
- 10 wings (wingette's only)
- 250g of Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup of Mayo
- 1 large Jalapeno Diced
- Handful of Chopped Spinach
- 1 packet of Extra Crispy Coating Mix
- Handful of diced Chives
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1-2 Eggs (whisked)
- 2-3 dashes of Hot Sauce
This is a simple yet complex recipe. Simple in concept and ingredients, complex in execution.
My diced veggies. Jalapenos, chives, and chopped spinach. The spinach was frozen, and came in balls inside the package, which I have never seen before. That pile is about 3 balls thawed and drained.
Everybody into the pool! Cream cheese, mayo, the greens and the seasoning. This part is super easy. After mixing, it all went into a ziplock bag and into the fridge to firm up. Now you are actually only going to need 1/2 of this mixture OR you could:
- double the number of wings to fill
- take a few tortillas, fill, wrap and cut making them pinwheels
- dip with tortillas or some firm cracker like a Triscuit
- fill into a won-ton, wrap and deep fry
Now, the next part is going to take some skill, some patience, and a lot of love (or hate, depending on if you think this is cruel to a chicken or not). You are definetely going to get your hands dirty, maybe even a bit bloody. So get your prep station clear, get comfortable, because you are going to get inside the chicken wings.
HOW TO DEBONE A CHICKEN WING
Before this event I had never deboned a chicken wing before (at least, post cooking). This was exciting and a little frustrating. If you a squeamish, this is not a process for you. You are popping bones out of sockets, mushing tendons, and getting your hands all over that former appendage.
They also don't just pop out easily. I will say it was easier the colder the wings were. Some of these individual wings I was manhandling for many minutes and the 'warmer' the chicken got in my hands, the more 'relaxed' the wing became, making it too flexible to pop. So keep them cold.
Now that you've got a bunch of limpy wingettes, your going to find you have this pocket to fill with whatever you want. We are using our mixture. Now that it's been chilling in the fridge, you cut off the corner and have basically made a piping bag. Use your finger to open up that wing cavity. Then slowly squeeze the mixture into the cavity. DO NOT OVERFILL. You need the end to kind of close up in the end.
This is me slowly filling wing after wing. Mad science at work.
I decided that I should try to seal the ends of the wings. I attempted to thread the skin closed using toothpicks, but this did not go well. The toothpicks did not pierce the skin very well, which caused the filling to come out, and even then it still wasn't closed very well. I did about 3 then gave up. That being said, they did hold up well, but probably not that much more than the other wings.
Once all the wings are filled, turn on your deep fryer and get it hot. Then get your breading station ready; whisked eggs with a few dashes of hot sauce (Texas Pete in this case), and the packed of breading mix.
These wings are like little fish. The feeling was so weird because they had no bones, and my sensor memory says these are supposed to be solid.
Take each wingette and dip it into the egg, then roll it in the breading mixture.
I was a little worried about these things exploding in my deep fryer, especially since the ends were loose. Yes 3 were toothpicked, but for the rest, I just made sure the top was well breaded as a seal, or what I hoped would be a seal.
When the deep fryer oil was hot (the max for my machine), I put 3 test wingettes in. I propped them up on their 'tails' ie the tip of the wing. I wanted the exposed end up so that the bottom would crisp up, and slowly cover the top. Down they went . . .
. . . and not a total failure! Yes, some of the filling spilled out, but it wasn't the explosion or mess I was expecting . . . just a little oozing.
I left them in for about 10 minutes, popping them out about half way just to check on them, re-position as necessary, and just because I like pretending to be a fry cook for some reason. I guessed they were done when they started to float, but I was nervous about overcooking them.
They came out looking fantastic. The crispy coating of a jalapeno popper with just a bit of oozing cream cheese mixture!
Even the mixture seemed to crisp up from the deep frying. I deep fried because I really wanted that proper crispy coating, but baking could have been an option.
These suckers also come with their own handle - the nub allows you to pick it up like chicken on a stick, but then you can eat the handle!
Well not it all, but the crispy skin and there's a little bit of meat in there. AND because you take out the bones, it's basically bite size. Above is one with a bite take out, and you can see all the green in there!
Here's what Jason had to say:
- awesome creation of a jalapeno popper wing. Cream cheese mix needed more flavour -perhaps more jalapeno?
- very crispy
- size of wing is deceptive - the nub makes it look bigger - but it is bite size
- awesome appetizer [not a meal wing - great for sharing]
- process was difficult - long prep [deboning]
- flavour was excellent, really good.
My thoughts were a bit mixed. I loved the concept. I loved the crunch of the skin. I loved that it reminded me of jalapeno poppers. The texture of the wings threw me off, because they don't feel the same in the mouth like a normal chicken wing. That's not bad, but it won't be like a wing.
The other thing I would do differently is up the jalapeno content; the spinach was to me the dominant flavour. I would add a lot more OR even hollow out a jalapeno, fill it with the cheese mixture, and then put that into the wing cavity. I would also not put in spinach. Not because spinach tasted bad at all, but it was stronger than the jalapeno wing.
|the dip is the coconut milk ranch dip from my 1st #powerupwithgreens wings|
This recipe gave me a chance to experiment and broaden my wing horizons. I had never deboned a wing, or figured out how to stuff it and seal it. It shows how versatile wings can be. AND based on this recipe, I now have an idea to do a deep fried pickle wing . . .
POWER UP WITH GREENS:
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