It’s the 4th of July so two American inspired dishes for you to enjoy on the blog today. Chicken wings and monster cookie ice cream sandwiches! Enjoy everyone!!
Buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip
These American-style crisp chicken pieces are the perfect laid-back party food to share and they’re great for a movie night. It’s the seductively high ratio of skin to meat that makes these wings taste so good, but there are two key steps that ensure extra-crisp wings: letting them sit at room temperature evens the cooking time, and a quick dredge in the seasoned cornflour, plus a few extra minutes in the fryer so that they’re really golden brown, transforms into a crunchy coating when fried.
1.3kg (3lb) chicken wings
groundnut oil, for deep-frying
75g (3oz) cornflour
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 celery sticks, trimmed and cut into thin slices.
FOR THE BLUE CHEESE DIP:
100g (4oz) blue cheese, crumbled 4 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp buttermilk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra leaves to garnish
FOR THE SAUCE:
120ml (4fl oz) hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 50g (2oz) butter, melted
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 – Using a sharp knife, discard the wing tip and keep the little drum and wingette together. Leave to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off them and help them to cook evenly.
2 – To make the blue cheese dip, blend all the ingredients together except the parsley in a bowl with a hand blender, then stir in the parsley and season to taste. Cover with cling film, then chill until needed. This can be made up to 2 days in advance.
3 – Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190°C (375°F) and put the oven on a low heat.
4 – Place the cornflour in a bowl with the celery salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Mix well to combine, then use to coat the chicken wings, shaking off any excess. Deep-fry the chicken wings in batches for 10–12 minutes, until very crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remainder.
5 – To make the sauce, mix the hot sauce with the celery salt, garlic powder and cayenne, if using, then stir in the melted butter and vinegar. Pour the sauce into a small pan and allow to just warm through.
6 – Once all the chicken wings are cooked, toss them in enough of the warmed sauce to coat, allowing any excess to drain off. Serve at once garnished with the flat-leaf parsley leaves and piled high in a bowl with the blue cheese dip and the celery sticks alongside. Have plenty of napkins for those sticky fingers!
Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
These are perfect for handing out to children at the end of a barbecue or family gathering. If you don’t want to serve them immediately, they can be wrapped tightly in clingfilm and frozen until needed. It’s also a nice idea to roll the sides of the ice cream cookie sandwiches in hundreds and thousands or a crumbled-up chocolate.
375g (13oz) light muscovado sugar
225g (8oz) butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
350g (12oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bread soda
½ tsp salt
150g (5oz) Smarties
2 x 500ml (18fl oz) cartons vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a hand-held mixer, cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl until soft and fluffy. Whisk the eggs lightly with the vanilla extract and then gradually beat into the butter mixture. Sieve the flour, baking powder, bread soda and salt into a separate bowl, then beat into the butter and egg mixture.
Use dampened hands to shape the cookie mixture into 20 even-sized balls and then arrange on the lined baking sheets. Flatten the balls slightly, allowing plenty of room for spreading (aim for 4 balls of dough per sheet; you’ll need to bake the cookies in batches). Dot with the Smarties and bake for 10–12 minutes, until rich golden all over and firm at the edges but still a little soft to the touch in the centre. Leave to cool a little, then using a metal fish slice or spatula, carefully transfer to a wire rack while they are still hot (otherwise they tend to stick). Leave to cool.
To serve, place a scoop of ice cream on the flat side of half of the cookies. Cover with the rest of the cookies and then press each one down gently to make a sandwich.