Listen. Nothing about this recipe is avant-garde. Nothing has been recreated with a minor, special twist. Nothing. These thighs are purely utilitarian. These get me through the week, my belly content and full. The only reason I snapped a photo with my phone was because I was by myself and they were really, really good and I wanted to share. No photo styling, no image uploading, resizing and editing. They are unctuous and you don’t need many brain cells to make them happen–my kind of recipe these days!
Crockpot Chicken Thighs
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (or coconut aminos if you are fermented soy free)
2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice (this batch included sriracha)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup filtered water
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Stir and coat the chicken. Set on low for 8-12 hours. Flip thighs halfway through the process if you want. After cooking, and with forks, pull meat apart and remove bones. Eat with abandon.
I mean, I have the recipe for post-Thanksgiving turkey stock, which is very similar… but I thought I should treat one of my favorite fridge and freezer staples to it’s own recipe. If you use chicken feet, it is very likely your stock will gel once it is cooled–and that’s cool.
1 to 2 pounds chicken bones (feet, head, leftover carcass from this week’s roast, saved wing bones, drumettes, what have you and what fits in your stock pot or crock pot WHEW!)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 carrots, broken into a few pieces
3 stalks celery, same as the carrots
12 whole peppercorns
fresh or dried herbs, if you desire (1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or maybe 2 sprigs fresh thyme, you get the point)
2 to 3 quarts filtered water
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, or a pot on the stove. If using the slow cooker, let cook on low for 1 to 2 days, until the bones are soft. If on the stove, bring up to a boil then let the stock simmer at a low heat while you are home. If in an Instant Pot, set to manual and cook at pressure for 30-45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Stock is done when you feel ready. Strain through a sieve to catch all stock bits, bottle, refrigerate or freeze. It can also be helpful to freeze in ice cube trays and store in a plastic bag in the freezer–then you have 1 ounce cubes of stock to use in dishes that call for just a little stock. Makes 2 to 3 quarts.
I have a feeling that title may turn off more than a few people–some dislike curry, some tuna, and perhaps a few more are queasing at the ideation of hot tuna. Never mind those fools. Let the delicately spiced and simply prepared dish be with you for lunch, over a nice bed of greens. See? It’s not so bad.
Curried Tuna Cakes
1 can tuna packed in water, drained
1/2 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and let sit briefly. Meanwhile, melt enough coconut oil (or red palm oil for delightfully ocher cakes) to generously coat the bottom of a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Take small amounts of the tuna mixture and form into petite little pucks, maybe about three tablespoons worth. Fill the pan and let cook for about 4 minutes per side, turning down the heat if necessary. Drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with additional salt and serve with cilantro leaves, a fruity chutney or some fermented hot sauce, you know, whatever your little tuna cakes desire that day. Serves 2 as a main course.
I know, I know, more wings? Have I gone batty (the multitude of seasonally appropriate puns are very much intended)? Maybe I have; maybe I’m cross-eyed from continually staring at the very cool invention of the computer screen… maybe my taste buds have died while my brain cells grow (just kidding, that would never happen!) But maybe… maybe I just love a good wing. You?
Honey Mustard Chicken Wings
5 pounds chicken wings, with end of wing removed if you prefer (save these to add to chicken stock)
1/2 cup grey poupon or your favorite mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed to a pulp
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika (try smoked paprika, too!)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your baking trays by setting a wire cooling rack over each (so the wings may cook on all sides). Place about 12 wings per tray, skin-side down. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Take chicken wings out of the oven and toss in the mixture, then gently place back on their wire trays, skin side up for another 15 minutes, a total of 30 minutes cooking time. Pop under the broiler for extra crispy bits and glorious color, maybe a blister here and there. Makes about 24 chicken wings (serves 6).
Eating chicken wings makes me wish I had a game to watch. Any game. They seem to be the perfect pastime–your mind is racing, the teams competing, you’re on the edge of your seat, you need something to do with your hands, something to look at and briefly take your mind off the scoring horrors but not that much, something with sustenance… something to see you through the long, hard game. Your emotional investment needs real fuel, savory fuel, not another big bowl of crunchy, salty things. Yo–we’re talking protein power, kids.
Squash Glazed Chicken Wings
5 pounds chicken wings, with end of wing removed if you prefer (save to add to stock!)
1/2 butternut squash, peel removed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup tamari sauce (wheat-free)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
juice of one lime
zest of one lime
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your baking trays by setting a wire cooling rack over each (so the wings may cook on all sides). Place about 12 wings per tray, skin-side down. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in a medium pot, let come to a boil, cover and cook until the squash is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place contents in a food processor, chopping until a smooth paste has formed. Move paste to a large bowl. Take chicken wings out of the oven and toss in the squash mixture, then gently place back on their wire trays, skin side up for another 15 minutes, a total of 30 minutes cooking time. Eat with abandon. Makes about 24 chicken wings (serves 4-6).