Wings are fun. Know what’s not fun? Going back to school. Worse yet is not going back to school at all, the realization that summer is just another passing couple of months of Real Life. Or maybe, real life is better. Summer weather is going to continue for another month or so, and those of us not in school have as much leeway as ever to make the most of it. Right?
A quick stock of the summer reveals that it wasn’t all that grown up. I swam in the Atlantic at two different latitudes; I got sunburnt ten times; I ate fried clams and drank Watermelon Rickeys; I played a lot of frisbee; I checked out Austin, Texas where I ate brisket and breakfast tacos and met Quinn from Scandal (!); I biked miles upon miles; I threw a biergarten party; I went to my first Big Summer Potluck; I launched Cooking Coaches.
Which maybe means I am ready for fall, and which brings us back to wings. These guys, baked til crisp in the oven (remember the oven? the kitchen tool you haven’t thought about since May?), symbolize the best of the season to come: football games and tailgates, indoor fun, dark beer, and red wine. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Cozy cabins in a Vermont countryside bright with foliage (here’s hoping). We might as well embrace it all.
I developed this wing recipe for Pacific Coast Producers, a private-label tomato company in California. It’s a play on buffalo wings, but instead of fried, the chicken gets baked until it’s crispy, then tossed with a homemade sweet-and-sour tomato-ginger chutney that perfectly complements the meat.
The chutney itself comes together surprisingly quickly, given its nuanced flavor. It makes use of sweet onions, spicy ginger, and tangy tomatoes to create an irresistible sauce you’ll find yourself licking from your fingers. Use any leftover sauce to dip bread into as an appetizer or dollop on top of eggs, tacos, or fish.