LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
Fiona Smith caters for the ultimate orphans’ Christmas
IF YOU’RE GETTING TOGETHER with friends this Christmas, it’s a good chance to dispense with tradition and forge your own path to a fun and festive meal. I have designed this American-inspired menu so one or two people could make a lot of it in advance, or you could share the load and give all guests a part to bring. The turkey wings, beef and salad are designed to be served all together. If you’re serving either the wings or the beef by themselves, they will feed fewer people than what’s specified on the recipes. Happy feasting!
BUFFALO TURKEY WINGS SERVES 8 / PREPARATION 20 MINUTES / COOKING 90 MINUTES PLUS DRYING TIME
Buffalo wings were apparently invented in a bar in Buffalo, New York, in 1964. They’re of course usually made with chicken wings but turkey wings are lovely and meaty, and baking them in this way makes them golden and crisp. Order them in advance from your butcher (I used Crozier’s). If you can, start this recipe a day in advance to allow the wings to dry in the fridge overnight. They can be cooked the day before too, just crisp up the skin in a hot oven for about five minutes before serving. The sauce can also be made a day or two in advance. If you want to use chicken wings instead of turkey wings, just reduce both cooking times by 10 minutes.
FOR THE WINGS
2kg turkey wings 2 tablespoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt oil to brush or spray ½ celery, leaves and stalks, to serve Lay the wings out on a rack on a baking tray and let them dry in the fridge overnight. If time is short, you can just pat them dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Put the wings in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the baking powder and salt. Shake the bag to coat the wings evenly. It’s easiest to do this in two batches.
Line the baking tray with foil. Set the rack on top and spray or brush with oil. Place the wings, skin side up, on the rack. Bake on the lower shelf in the oven for 40 minutes, then move the tray up to the highest shelf and turn the oven up to 220°C. Bake for another 40-50 minutes, rotating the tray after 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the wings after 30 minutes as ovens vary – you want them a dark golden brown.
If you’ve made the buffalo sauce in advance, gently warm it in a small saucepan to melt the butter, which will have hardened. Remove the wings from the oven and arrange them on a platter. Drizzle liberally with the warm buffalo sauce, garnish with celery leaves and serve with celery sticks on the side, along with any leftover sauce.
2 large or 3 medium/small capsicums 60g unsalted butter, melted ¼-½ cup sriracha hot sauce (to taste) 1 tablespoon brown sugar or molasses 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 garlic clove, crushed Heat the grill to very hot. Cut the capsicums in thirds, cutting out the stalks and discarding the seeds. Put on a baking tray, cut side down, and cook until the skins are blackened – about 10 minutes. Move to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the blackened skins and discard.
Transfer the capsicums to a food processor and blend to a puree with the butter, hot sauce (start with ¼ cup – you can always add more), sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Season with salt and add more hot sauce if needed. Serve with the buffalo wings.