I was getting changed in the bedroom after my shower when I looked at the mirror and screamed.
"Honey! Come in and look at my a$$!!!" I said excitedly.
I heard a groan from the lounge room before Mr NQN drolly remarked "I really wonder what our neighbours think of us..."
"They think I'm nuts because I take photos of my food and play music on repeat all the time" I said but I said with more urgency "Will you pleeeease come and look at my bottom! Pleeease!"
I heard the lounge leather creak as he made his way into the bedroom. The Tour de France was on and it was apparently a rather exciting stage and there I was asking him to check out my bottom. "Look!" I said excitedly, "It's different! I think it's firmer!"
He looked amused and smiled "I can't really see a difference" he said.
"It's all the fried chicken I've been eating!" I said gaily shaking my bottom happily in the mirror. By that time Mr NQN had left and was staring at the television screen while I stared at my bottom's reflection.
You see it may sound crazy but if you're trying to watch what you eat at home so that you can eat out like a glutton, then fried chicken and karaage chicken aren't completely off limits. This is a recipe I've been developing for a little while so we've had lots of fried chicken to eat. If you're like me and adore chicken karaage yet perhaps studiously ignore the fact that it is deep fried chicken, then this is an alternative recipe for you using chicken wings or drumsticks.
There's not a spot of oil added to these, you use the skin to provide this along with sealing in the moistness from the chicken. It's not only packed with flavour from the ginger, garlic, soy and shao xing wine but crispy to boot. You could also use skinless chicken -it won't be quite as moist and in that case, I'd brush it with a little oil but if you make these as they are, you will have some beautifully flavoursome, fall off the bone chicken wings. Perfect for watching sports (or looking in the mirror!).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you avoid deep fried foods? And what food do you avoid if you're trying to lose weight?
Baked Chicken Karaage Wings
Makes about 8-9 chicken wings
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes waiting time
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 kg/2 pounds chicken wings
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
8 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake or Shao Xing cooking wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cups plain all purpose flour
Buyer's tip: Shao xing wine can be found in the Asian foods section of the supermarket or at Asian grocery stores.
Gluten free tip: you can also make these using fine cornstarch but you do taste the cornflour a little more than you do plain flour.
Step 1 - Mix the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sake or cooking wine in a bowl. Marinate the chicken wings in this sauce for 30 minutes-I put it in a ziplock bag and squish it around to make sure that the marinade coats the chicken turning it once or twice.
Step 2 - Preheat oven t0 200C/400F and line a large tray with baking paper. Place the flour into a shallow bowl and drain the wings of the marinade. Dip each wing into the flour shaking off any excess and place on the prepared tray. You do not need to add oil.
Step 3 - Bake skin side up for 15 minutes. Remove tray from oven and turn over so that the skin side is down and bake for another 15 minutes. Then remove tray from oven and turn skin side up again and bake for a final 15 minutes. The final 15 minutes crisps up the skin beautifully and makes the meat fall off the bone.