It’s April already. In any other city, this would mean perfect spring weather, pastel dresses and light jackets, along with breezy beautiful outdoor Sunday brunch dates. But alas, I’m in Houston, where I’ve barely gotten over the ugly winter rains and now 80+ degree weather is beckoning me on. But despite the dramatic temperature turnaround, I’m looking forward to summer this year, because my 2 year old niece is coming to visit in May!
Even though I’m Chinese American, I don’t actually boast of a giant extended family of cousins and aunts and uncles. My mom only has one sister, who only has one daughter. Hence, this sole older cousin of mine became my playmate and “sister” early on in life. We grew up together in China, where every summer break, we visited our grandparents’ place and spent all day pretending to do math problems then scavenging for mung bean popsicles in the fridge when the grandparents weren’t looking. Hmmm…good times. Even though we were close growing up, we were diametrically opposites. She was always dolled up in new clothes and lavished with girly toys and “glamour shots” whereas my mom was content in dressing me in pass-me-downs from my cousin and giving me a boy haircut all throughout elementary school.
Four years back, my cousin got married to Mr. Perfect and had my niece subsequently. And of course, inheriting my cousin’s good-looks genes, my niece, nicknamed “Joy”, went on to become a family legend baby beauty queen. Since the tender age of 3 months, Joy has been the focus of glamour shoots and my cousin’s social media circles, where she can be seen daily dolled up in the most stylish street fashion possible for 2 year olds. Sometimes, I’m convinced that Joy has a bigger closet than I do. It might be true.
Anyhow, I get to see this celebrity niece for the first time next month! (They’ve been living in China and recently relocated to the Western Hemisphere for work) My title as an aunt shall come into full glory!
As for recipe today, I ran out of meat earlier this week, and I’m a carnivore. Cannot survive one day without meat. But dilemma was, I got lazy. So here’s the product child of laziness in the kitchen: coca cola chicken wings- a classic satisfying protein-rich dish that is beyond easy to make. And very difficult to mess up, unless if you are anti-Coke. I hope not.
Coca Cola Wings
- 8 chicken wings or legs (smaller is better)
- 1 can of coke
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp of cooking sherry
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- green onions, chopped
- ginger powder
- couple of dry red chili peppers
- 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
Rinse any blood off chicken wings. Make thin slices on the wings with a knife. (This will make better flavor absorption)
Heat up canola oil on a pan. Place wings evenly in the pan and sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Add green onions and ginger and garlic. The searing takes around 4 minutes on each side.
Add bell peppers and continuing to sear for 3 minutes. Add cooking sherry, soy sauce, coke and a couple of dry red chili peppers based on taste. This should almost cover the wings. Turn heat on high and boil content. Then on low-medium heat, simmer the chicken with a covered lid for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid, turn up the heat to high and cook until sauce is reduced to your own liking. This takes around 10 minutes.