What an eventful time in Top Chef Canada land this past week. Cooking with vending machine ingredients, ‘roughing it’ in the wilderness and an appearance by Roger Mooking. This was definitely one of my favourite episodes to date. Although, I must say, it broke my heart a bit to see Ryan sent home. He will be missed. After watching all the chefs sweat making, uh, ‘unique’ dishes out of vending machine fare, I thought to myself, ‘Thank god I won’t have to do that this week!’
I spoke too soon… Little did I know, Trevor’s Pork Rind Crusted Chicken Wings with Pretzel Beer Mayo would sweep the polls on foodnetwork.ca. As much I had hoped to garnish a plate with squab feet, that dream would have to wait for another day.
Trevor’s idea of coating chicken wings with pork rinds was quite genius, actually, although I was a bit skeptical about the pretzel ‘mayo.’ Seeing as I utilize Twitter for just about every aspect of my life (including my never-ending search for true love), I decided to reach out to Trevor for some advice. Luckily, he came through and told me to add more beer.
Now that’s the kind of advice I can take and run with! All of the mayonnaise ingredients combined in my blender kind of resembled a hot mess (of Lindsay Lohan proportions), but after pureeing them and adding the olive oil, it actually came out quite nicely.
It had a surprisingly great texture and was just tangy enough. I’m going to have to rock the pretzel beer mayonnaise at my next dinner party!
Now, for the chicken wing coating, I did mention using a food processor in the recipe below, but I love my mortar and pestle for combining dry ingredients. First off, I generally make my own bread crumbs by toasting some baguette slices in the oven until nice and crispy and then pounding them into, well, crumbs with the mortar and pestle. The pork rinds also met the same fate in the process of making this dish. What can I say? I like smashing stuff! Seriously, if you ever have to let off some excess steam, a mortar and pestle is the way to go!
Moving swiftly along, I coated all of the wings with the pork rind mixture and baked them in the oven until they were nice and crispy. I fried the chicken in some oil to get that authentic ‘time to watch a sports game’ kind of texture, but I’m not a sports guy and it was 24 degrees outside this weekend. So, I was not in the mood to heat up my kitchen and smell like frying oil for the rest of the day.
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