Crew Mess: by Capt. John Wampler
I’ve never seen a buffalo fly, but Buffalo wings have made their mark as a favorite appetizer and party fare. It wasn’t long ago that wings were just scraps relegated to the stockpot for making broth or soup. With the commercialization of chicken harvesting, consumers opted for the better portions of chicken – the breasts, thighs and leg portions – and the wings ended up going to soup factories.
There is much debate about who actually came up with the recipe for hot chicken wings, but the general consensus points to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. The story goes that back in 1964, the owner of the bar had to feed a group of her son’s friends, so she took a bunch of wings on hand, deep fried them, tossed them in a buttery chili sauce and served them with blue cheese dip and celery.
The wings were a hit and the city of Buffalo has designated July 29 as Chicken Wing Day. And as a matter of record, the Anchor Bar now serves 70 thousand pounds of chicken monthly.
This recipe combines the sweetness of the yam with the spiciness of the chicken, then finishes with the coolness of the yogurt-bleu cheese topping.
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
4 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Chopped green onions
Coat a slow cooker with nonstick spray and place the chicken in the bottom.
In a separate bowl, add the hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and coconut oil, and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and cover the slow cooker. Then cook for 1 1/2 hours on high until chicken is fully cooked.
While the chicken is in the crockpot, prepare the sweet potatoes. Coat with butter, wrap in foil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Leaving the sauce in the crockpot, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with a fork on a separate plate.
In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water and pour back into the slow cooker with remaining hot sauce. Combine using a whisk. Cook sauce on high for 30 minutes.
Add shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and toss it well into the sauce, so that it is entirely coated.
Bleu Cheese Yogurt Dressing
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
Once everything is prepared, split the sweet potatoes and mash with skin on.
Spoon on the chicken and yogurt-blue cheese, then garnish with chopped green onions.
Capt. John Wampler (yachtaide.com) has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.