Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Garlic miso chicken wings

Chirp, chirp, chirp.
My exchange with my interlocutor was abruptly interrupted by a cricket. What was a cricket doing in my office in the center of Milan? I ignored it and kept arguing my point.
Chirp, chirp, chirp.
Boy was this little guy insistent. And loud.
Chirp, chirp, chirp.
Suddenly I was in my pjs, under a warm duvet and it was raining outside.
Chirp, chirp, chirp.
I reached for my phone and turned off the alarm. I listened to the pouring rain and willed myself to get up.
As I dragged myself to the bathroom I was surprised how tired I felt. I went out last night but I got home early and didn't even have a glass of wine. I must be getting old, I thought as I yawned.
After showering and dressing, I dragged myself down the stairs. I opened the front door and looked out: still raining, but not too much, and the sky looked light and promising.
I slipped on my rain cape and biked to work. When I got there, I was happy to be one of the first to park my bike. On a rainy day this did not come as a surprise, but still I was happy knowing I wouldn't have to wrangle my bike out of the knot of handlebars and bike locks when I went home in the afternoon.

I moaned when I saw the front door to the building was still locked. The last thing I felt like was looking for my keys in my bag under my cape in the rain. It was certainly not the first time I had arrived before the concierge, but it usually only happens when I get to the office at 7:00am, not on the days I go at 7:30am like today. She probably got stuck somewhere waiting for a less crowded bus. That is why I prefer my bike, especially in the rain, I thought smugly.
However, when I got up to my floor and noticed the slip in the door that night surveillance leaves after their customary check I got suspicious. I badged to open the door and in front of me stretched a long, omniously dark hallway. Everything was quiet. I turned on the lights and walked to my office wondering if I had slept through some apocalyptic event. Or was I still dreaming?
And then it hit me. I checked my watch.
Yup. I'm that girl in the romantic comedy that does stupid things that you scoff at with your friends. "Yeah right, like anybody in real life would be stupid enough to get up, get ready and go to work without ever looking at their watch or noticing it was the crack of dawn!".
Only, when that girl does it she is cute and funny (and beautiful and in her early twenties). I am just a sleep deprived forty year-old with ruffled hair and bags under my eyes.
I am the idiot who set the wrong alarm on my phone, the one right on top of the one I wanted, the one  I noramlly set to go running. The one that rings exactly an hour earlier.
In my defence, despite the fact that I am wearing a turtleneck to work today (I am serious), it is spring and it is already light at 6:10am and there was enough traffic to not make me suspicious. And it was raining and I was wearing a rain hood under my helmet and so I was not really looking around enjoying my ride, taking in the details. So yeah, in my defence...

Totally unrelated, but delicious nonetheless, here is a great go-to recipe from Nami's blog, Just One Cookbook. I am sure you already know her but just in case you don't, I highly suggest you visit her RIGHT. NOW.

I have already made these twice. The first time I used a ckicken breast that I cut into bite-size pieces and then skewered, yakitori style. Very good, except I mixed red and white miso paste as suggested, but my red miso paste is really strong and it left a bit of a bitter after taste. This time I went the chicken-wing way because we all love our crispy chicken skin here and only used white miso and it resulted in a more delicate flavor.

10 chicken wings (or other parts)
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
3 tbsp miso (white)
2  tbsp soy sauce
2  tbsp mirin

Place the previously rinsed and dried chicken wings in a zip lock back, after puncturing them with a fork. This will help the flavors penetrate the meat better.
Mince or grate the garlic cloves (you can up the amounts if you are a garlic lover), then mix it with the miso paste and rub well into the wings in the Ziplock bag. Store in fridge for at least 4 hours or up to a day. About 3 hours before cooking, add in the soy sauce and mirin, making sure once again to mix well.
I do not have a broiler in my oven so I lined a tray with aluminum foil, preheated the oven to 425°F/220°C and roasted the wings in the top third of the oven, skin-side down for about 15 minutes. Then I turned them and roasted them on the other side until they were brown and a little blistered.
Take out and serve immediately.


  1. Ha, this story made me laugh out loud! I've got myself dressed at the wrong time before but never made it out the house - this is brilliant :-)

    1. Believe me, it was a first for me too! I had never even gotten up at the wrong time... still can't believe it. :o)

  2. G'day and thanks for the chuckle today, TRUE!
    I follow Nami and this would be a GREAT entertaining recipe too!
    I once went to work on a Saturday and wondered why no one was there,
    Then two other people showed up...we all laughed as we were BEYOND sleep derived and well, at least about work at the time we did care! lol

    1. Hi Joanne!
      ...and I thought waking up an hour early was annoying, I can't even imagine what it must me like to realize it is a Saturday!! At least you had company.

  3. Am still laughing! [Tho' I guess it was not really funny!] Love Nami, of course: have made this already too, and, in my case with that middle coloured 'tanny' miso which I can always find in the fridge :) !

    1. Hi Eha! Laughing totally permitted, it is funny now that I have slept on it ;o) It'll certainly become an anecdote to tell at gatherings.

  4. That's so funny! I saw this recipe on Nami's blog and cooked it as well. It's a delicious dish and a great family meal xx

  5. Mmm I adore miso on meat! Nami has fantastic recipes too-they're always so clear and work! :D

  6. Hi! I'm sorry it took me a while to visit your blog since you left a comment on my post. I'm so happy you enjoyed this recipe. There are so many kinds of miso and even red miso has different taste depending on the brands. It took me a long long time to figure out which miso brand I like. Glad white miso works out for you. :) I just shared on my fan page (hope that was ok). Thank you so much for your kind mention. xo

    1. The only miso I can find here is a very dark, strong miso paste, which is probably the reason for the bitter aftertaste. A friend, however, sent me two kinds of really good white miso from the States, and that seemed to work better. If I find a lighter red miso, I will try mixing again. Thank you, I am honored to have appeared on your FB page.


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