Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pizza and wings, by yours truly.

The dinner plan for this evening was wings. Our Thanksgiving is postponed until the weekend, since Fiance has to work tonight. While the poultry was in the oven, I decided on a whim to make a pizza to go with the wings. What follows is the chronicle of my trials.

First off, the pizza wasn't happening without this.
O, yeah, did I mention I was gonna plug the shit out of my Pampered Chef business? Don't judge.

Within this box there were four pouches; two containing the mix, and two containing yeast. One of each will make one thick crust pizza or two thin crust pizzas (or four,  if you're feeling feisty).
Ladies and gentlemen, preheat your ovens to 425 degrees Fahrenheit ('cause this is America, bitches), and let's get started. Dump the above pouches into your Classic Batter Bowl and mix it up with your Stainless Whisk. Next, add 1-1/4 cup of hot water and 2 Tbsp of olive or vegetable oil (I used olive) using your Measure-All (r) Cup and the Tbsp of your Measuring Spoon Set.
Man, am I shameless or what? Moving on. I have JUST ordered myself a nifty Pastry Blender, so I used a spoon to stir all that up. Then I floured up my Cutting Board.
Like that. Then I dumped the mess onto the board, floured up my hands, and kneaded the dough 8 - 10 times...whatever that means. I just rolled it around until it wasn't too sticky anymore, then transferred it to my Large Round Stone with Handles and rolled it out to within 1/2-in of the edge.
Then I added some lame sauce (haaaa) and un-lamed it with some Italian Seasoning Mix.
I sliced up some ham and bacon and sprinkled that with some Monterrey and Colby cheese onto the pizza. For Fiance, I washed and sliced some baby Portabello mushrooms to add to the pizza. They were pretty dirty.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: That's one of my Flexible Cutting Mats. It comes in a set of a three: red for meats, yellow for chicken, and green for veggies, to prevent cross-contamination. I use them alllll the time. Anywho, the mushrooms were for Fiance, so they went on half the pizza.
Like that. I stuck that bad boy in the oven for 17 minutes. Box says 15 - 20. In hindsight, I could have should have done a couple of things different. One of them would be to leave it in longer for a crispier crust. I also should have maybe split the dough to make two thin crusts, and I should have spread the sauce and toppings closer to the edge. Lessons learned for next. Here's the finished product.
Not bad looking, considering I NEVER make pizza. I don't think I'll subject Fiance to it, though, he's pretty picky. I enjoyed my slice alright, but like I said, I should have done a few things differently. I think I'll go with mozzarella next time, too. And a different brand of pizza sauce...Ragu kinda sucks. All in all, though, not a complete disaster.

Now, on to the wings. I don't have pictures of the prep prior to putting them in the oven, but it's pretty simple. I watched Fiance's friend make wings at home one evening a few months back, so I had an idea of how to cut up the chicken to separate the drummies from the flats. Use a sharp knife (I used my 8" Chef's Knife; holy fuck, I love that thing) and cut the skin at the joint, and just gently nudge around the joint until you find the right spot to cut. Once you get to your third or fourth piece, you have a general idea of where you need to cut. Also, there's an extra bit on the other end of the flat you need to trim off. I sprayed my Large Bar Pan (still seasoning that bad boy) and layered the wings on it, then sprinkled some Buffalo Rub on them before putting them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is cooked the whole way through! (I use my Digital Pocket Thermometer.)
While those were cooling off, I made the sauce. I also got the idea from Fiance's friend. It's really simple, you just need some ranch dressing and some hot sauce.
I don't use specific measurements here, I just sort of eyeball it and try to use equal parts. You really just wanna play around with the amount to make sure it's the level of heat you enjoy. What I got made my nose run, and that's how I like it.
Once you have achieved the desired level of heat, dump in your wings and toss 'em around in the sauce until they're good and covered, then serve 'em up.
And there's tonight's dinner. I wish the pizza could have been better, but the wings came out fine, and I know what to improve on for next time. It's really the only way to learn your way around the kitchen; no one is born a celebrity chef. And at least I made these mistakes at home, alone, and not at a show, in front of potential customers, amirite?

For more information about The Pampered Chef items featured in this post, e-mail me at ¡Buen provecho!

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