Even though I run a food blog and cooking show, there are times when I am not as motivated to spend long hours in the kitchen, especially during the summer. During sweltering hot weather I would rather just eat a dinner of what Arabs called “nawashif” or a collection of finger foods that don’t require cooking, like watermelon with farmer cheese, or crusty bread dipped into olive oil with za’atar spice, feta, and tomatoes. However, the family can’t live off of nawashif alone all summer, so I have a few quick meals up my sleeve that I can prepare with minimal time and mess. One of those standby meals that everyone loves are chicken wings.
Children love them because they are reminiscent of chicken nuggets, adults love them with a side of sauces, crispy celery, and perhaps a side of beer. Wings are a social food, the quintessential treat to eat while watching sports, socializing at a party, or eating around a campfire. As July 29th is National Chicken Wing Day (yes this speciality has its own holiday) I figured I would share a recipe for middle eastern inspired chicken wings, made with a grape molasses glaze.
Grape molasses, known as “dibis” in Arabic, is a rich and smooth syrup with the sweetness of grapes with a slight tartness. Arabs have appreciated Dibis not only for its robust flavor, but its medicinal properties. As dibis is rich in iron, this molasses is beneficial for those with anemia. This syrup is also loaded with other minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. You can eat dibis the traditional Arab way, by combining it with tahini for a middle eastern style peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or you can use dibis as the base for a variety of marinades for chicken or fish. In this chicken wing recipe, dibis adds a rich sweet flavor reminiscent of barbeque sauce, but without all of the refined and processed sugar. For best results, marinate the chicken overnight. The addition of cornstarch to the chicken ensures a crispy crust without the need for frying.
In this recipe, I use authentic Palestinian olive oil that has been cold pressed which adds an extra fruity flavor you just can’t find with standard olive oils in the market. To get 10% off this olive oil right now, just use promo code BlancheTV at http://www.harvestpeace.com
To see additional tips and tricks on how to perfect oven baked chicken wings, click on my new video below:
Chicken Wings with Grape Molasses Glaze:
1 pound chicken wings
Salt to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp grape molasses: https://amzn.to/3j9xytc
1 tsp cumin
Dash lemon pepper (optional)
¼ cup olive oil
Dredge the chicken wings in the cornstarch and salt to taste, set aside. For the marinade, add the grape molasses, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, and lemon pepper. Shake or whisk until the olive oil is emulsified. Add the marinade to the chicken and combine–leave in the refrigerator overnight for maximum flavor. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees, and bake the chicken on the center rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, and flip all of them upside down. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, place the wings on the top rack and bake 15 minutes more. Serve immediately.
FOR A HEALTHY SUMMERTIME DESSERT: APPLE GOOP!
One thing that summer doesn’t cure for me is my sweet tooth! When you are internally screaming for a bowl apple pie a la mode, try this Apple Goop Parfait instead!
This recipe for “Apple Goop” was inspired by fitness influencer, Coach Greg Doucette. Greg’s premise is you can still get lean and lose weight by enjoying foods that have a lot of bulk to fill you up while staying lower in calories. Apple goop is like an apple pie filling, however oats take the place of a pie crust, adding filling fiber without refined flour. This “goop” tastes extra rich atop a layer of Greek yogurt, and is so simple to make. The added cornstarch gives it that goopy texture and creates more volume, so you feel like you are eating more dessert for less calories!