Winter is in full swing and with subzero temperatures, mother nature is showing us who the boss is! Boy is it cold!
With this cold weather engulfing us this week, I picked any excuse to open up the oven and warm up the kitchen and house. We're only days away from Super Bowl Sunday, so I decided I needed to post a recipe on chicken wings, which seem so fitting for Super Bowl Sunday! I didn't have any pictures of our family's favorite mode of cooking them, so I bought two large trays and decided to make some so I could add them here. A multi-purpose post of a new recipe for you, plus my kitchen was nice and warm!
This recipe didn't make it in my new cookbook, The Five Ingredient Italian Cookbook, but it really is 5 ingredients or less. One word about this and any recipe that calls for only a handful of ingredients. As I mentioned in my book, I can't stress enough how important quality ingredients are. Italian cooking is about quality over quantity, and the outcome is only going to be as good as what you put in.
This delicious dish calls for chicken wings, eggs, parmigiano cheese and breadcrumbs. With a light drizzle of olive oil added before sliding them to the oven.
Let's start with the breadcrumbs. If at all possible, use unseasoned bakery breadcrumbs, or make your own using older, dried out bread. I don't like promoting the crumbs you find on the grocery store shelf in cardboard containers. They are often stale, flavorless, and the flavor they do carry is usually of cardboard. Visit a local bakery or the bakery department at your grocery store, and get some fresh crumbs. It's actually also very simple to make your own. Dry out some quality bread by leaving it out on your counter for several days, or place it in the oven after it's been turned off. When it's completely dry and hardened, just add it to a food processor and turn it into crumbs.
Let's turn to the Parmesan cheese. The term "parmesan cheese" now captures every form of grated cheese, authentic or otherwise, Italian or local. Please, please, please, do not use the one that shall remain nameless and that comes in a green tub found on the grocery store shelf. That tube is filled with fillers that aren't even cheese. It's actually legal to have a certain percent of wood chips in there, labeled as cellulose. Don't, just don't. Use instead authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or Grana Padano - the cheaper cousin). Buy a chunk of it ungrated. Check the label to make sure you see the words "Parmigiano Reggiano" (or part of the words) on the label. The term "Parmigiano Reggiano" is actually protected, so you can be sure you are getting the real thing.
The other two ingredients are just eggs and the chicken wings. Make sure both are as fresh as possible. With fresh, authentic ingredients, you're in for a delicious Super Bowl snack!
Now, I will admit, much to the dismay of some family members, I use almost equal parts bread to cheese! This is pretty atypical when making cutlets. Most recipes call for 3 parts bread to 1 part cheese, if that, some even call for less cheese than that. I, for one, like them very cheese! My motto is "the cheesier, the better!" I've adjusted the recipe below a bit to what is most typical. You can adjust the measurements as you like, these are just suggestions and not written in stone. (No recipe ever is!)
Parmigiano Crusted Chicken Wings
Serves 4 - 8, depending on appetite!
3 - 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups + freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
3 medium - large eggs
24 - 30 fresh chicken wings, (wing and drumette separated)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese to a medium bowl. Using a fork or your fingers, mix well.
3. In a second bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
4. Sprinkle some salt over the chicken wings and working with 1 or 2 at a time, dredge them in the beaten egg.
5. Remove from the egg, dripping to remove excess, and dredge them in the breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Press to adhere coating.
6. Place the wings on the prepared baking sheet and continue with the rest.
7. Once you have coated all the wings, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, bake them on the second to lowest rack in the oven for 40 -45 minutes, or until golden brown.
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