Some weeks are crappier than others. Last week was one the erred on the crappier side for me. I was sick (and although I feel better, the cough has decided to hold on through this week), and thus totally exhausted by the end of the day most days. All that scale drama was kinda getting me down. And I had a disappointment job-wise that was pretty discouraging. All of these factors left me feeling pretty down by the time Friday rolled around.
Thankfully, I had 2 things that were my saving grace: my friend Megan and the incredibly tasty boneless, skinless, chicken “wings” pictured to your left (technically they’re not wings, but more on that in a minute).
A couple of weeks ago I was chilling at Megan’s house. Her husband was out at a men’s event/wing night at their church. Megan thought that “women should have wing nights. I really like wings.” I agreed. I definitely enjoy a good chicken wing on rare occasions (if you live in Southern Ontario, try this place – they’ve got over 100 flavours, including PB and J, which may sound weird but is SO good). But they’re not something I let myself have very often. I remember my Weight Watchers leader once saying, “There are not many foods I will say are “bad” (since the whole point of WW is that you can eat your favourite foods/lead a normal life and still lose weight), but chicken wings are pretty bad.” I mean, pieces of chicken with skin on, breaded, fried, and coated in sauce? C’mon – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, while incredibly delicious, they are also incredibly fattening.
All that to say, we still had “wings” last Friday on our girls’ night in. But it’s wings in quotation marks, because technically, they weren’t actually wings. They were boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut in half and cooked in a yummy homemade barbeque sauce made to simulate the juiciness and flavour of wings while cutting out the fat and calories that come with all that crispy skin.
While I’d love to take credit for the idea, I have to give credit where credit is due, to Janet and Greta Podleski, of Looneyspoons, Crazy Plates and Eat Shrink and be Merry fame. In case you haven’t heard of them, the Podleski sisters are the dynamic duo behind the cookbook series I’ve just mentioned, and their recipes are super-flavourful and delicious while keeping an eye on fat and calories (remember the chocolate cheesecake I made last fall? Also from Eat, Shrink and be Merry).
Combined with a plate of veggies and PC Blue Menu Tzatziki dip, the wings made a perfect finger food supper enjoyed in front of the TV, while watching such delights as Four Weddings, The Music Man, and Boy Meets World on DVD and having some good girly bonding time.
Here’s the recipe if you want to try them for yourself. The super bowl is coming up this weekend – if you need some game day grub, give these guys a try!
Lord of the Wings from Eat, Shrink and be Merry – makes 24 wings
- 12 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2½ lbs/1.1 kg)
- 1/3 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp liquid honey (see tip)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 4 to 5 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Trim any visible fat from chicken thighs. Cut each thigh in half and place cut pieces in a single layer in prepared baking pan. Fold or roll them up a bit so they resemble the shape of a chicken wing. They should just fit in pan (3 rows of 8 “wings”).
3. Whisk together barbecue sauce, soy sauce, mustard, honey, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder and hot pepper sauce (if using) in a small bowl. Spoon sauce evenly over chicken pieces.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is bubbly. Arrange chicken on a serving platter and keep warm. Pour sauce from pan into a small pot. Combine cornstarch with 2 tsp water and mix until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into sauce. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly until mixture has thickened (it won’t take long). Serve “wings” with extra sauce for dipping.
Tip: If you’re using a barbecue sauce that already has honey in it or a sauce that’s quite sweet, you may want to reduce the honey in this recipe from 2 tbsp to 1 tbsp.
Per serving (1 wing with 1 tsp sauce):
- 56 calories
- 1.7 g total fat (0.4 g saturated fat)
- 8 g protein
- 2 g carbohydrate
- 0.1 g fiber
- 31 mg cholesterol
- 114 mg sodium
Oh, and of course, you know me. If it’s going to be a REALLY good girls’ night in, dessert is MANDATORY. Hungry Girl’s Freezy Downside-Up PB Dream Pie caught my eye last week, and since Megan and I are peanut butter diehards, I decided to go for it. Now, I know it doesn’t follow the “more natural” goals I’ve set for myself of late, but remember, I’m not striving for 100% natural 100% of the time. I left myself room to enjoy the occasional more-processed treat. And let me tell you, this stuff was totally worth it! I chose to make 1/4 of the original recipe, as it was easy to scale back, and that way we’d have one serving each (only 4 points plus a serving) with no more to tempt us.
…and good thing I did too, as that stuff was deadly! As you can seen, the portion size was not exactly huge, but what it lacked in size it more than delivered in flavour. If you’re a pb/cheesecake lover, give this recipe a try (that is, if you’re not opposed to using a little edible oil product in your life).
We stayed up late (well, late for us) talking, watching TV and eating (we MAY have added a couple of chocolates and popcorn to the mix, but I’m not telling). Come Saturday morning, nothing in my life had really changed. Cough still present, other life discouragements still existed. But somehow I felt a little bit better. I guess that’s what girlfriends are for.
How do you like your wings? Sweet, spicy, not at all? Favourite food to eat in front of the TV?