Monday, April 16, 2007
Cooking with Cola
Yes, you read it right- chicken wings with cola.
We all love cola in so many ways: in its traditional form as a beverage, in juicy gummies and lollies, as a 7-11 slurpee flavour, and so on. However, most of us aren't quite familiar with the less-than-obvious hidden culinary utilities that the humble cola beholds.
In 2005, I visited the sunny Philippines. It was then that I was first exposed to a savoury application of this fizzy, sweet, black stuff- in a local dish of squid stewed in cola and other aromatics. It was strangely delicious. Henceforth, that single experience triggered the opening of my mind to the wide world of culinary secrets that lay within those aluminium cans.
Today, there numerous websites, such as this one, that educate us on the multitude of ways that we can incorporate cola into our everyday recipes. Very interesting indeed.
Tonight, inspired by my trip to the Philippines, I cooked up a dish of chicken wings stewed in cola and vinegar. I served it with jasmine rice mixed with annatto oil, another great ingredient that I stumbled upon in the Philippines. There, they often serve this fragrant rice with savoury, grilled meats like chicken inasal.
The method of making this dish of cola stewed chicken wings is dead simple. There are seven basic ingredients that are used to flavour the chicken, and you can adjust the quantities of these to suit your liking. Also, in the Philippines, they'd normally cook with a tangy coconut vinegar. This can be a little tricky to obtain here in Brisbane, although most larger Asian grocers do stock it. But for the sake of those who don't want to go through the trouble of searching for it, you can easily substitute it with another crisp, fruity vinegar such as apple cider vinegar.
Chicken wings with cola and vinegar
8 large chicken wings
2 tbsps Maggi/Knorr seasoning (available in supermarkets)
1 cup light soya sauce
1 cup coconut vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
2 cups cola
1 whole head of garlic
6 bay leaves
12 whole white peppercorns
Heat oil in a large saucepan or casserole and fry chicken pieces till slightly brown. Add entire head of garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns and fry for another 2 mins. Then, add in all the liquids and let simmer for 30 mins till chicken is tender.
Remove chicken wings from saucepan/casserole, leaving behind cooking liquids. Set chicken wings aside in a separate bowl. Bring liquids to boil and let reduce by half to three quarters till you acheive a sticky and rich consistency. Add chicken wings back to liquids and toss to coat. Serve hot with rice.
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