Sure they do! They go over the falls in those cardboard buckets that the Colonel uses!
I have a friend down the road who has Niagara grapes, which are a popular green variety generally classified as table grapes. Welch’s uses the Niagara to make their green grape juice, which I’ve never actually seen in the store. I don’t know if they were named after Niagara Falls, and I don’t know what Niagara Falls were named after either. The flavor is amazing, sweet but also a little tannic. The skin is kind of thick and the seeds are prominent, but they make a terrific jelly. I use the sous vide tank to heat the juice, but only because it’s convenient. Pectin is a thing, and most cooks and chefs have no idea how it really functions. Even the blogs and websites that discuss it seem to be mostly stay-at-home Moms who enter their mincemeat and brandied figs in state fairs and the like.
My Mom wasn’t much of a cook, but she could make some jam. She could look at the steaming liquid and tell you up front if it was going to set right or not. She couldn’t explain how she knew, either, she just knew. It has to actually boil, but the batch can’t be too big, and it suffers if it boils too long. Candy and jelly, my Mom had them down. Her peanut brittle was tooth-yankingly sinful.
Anyway, I had some trim from the chicken 101 recipe that I did the other day, so I decided to make this little pub dish, with wings and skin-on breast tips.
You don’t boil stock, you boil LAUNDRY
First, a word about stocks. When I say neutral stock, I mean unseasoned broth. Seasoned stock is called Bouillon. Stock can be reduced without becoming salty. Bouillon cannot. The great thing about neutral stock is it doesn’t matter how much you START with. It only matters how much you END UP with. This is where so many recipes go wrong.
They give you an amount to start with and they tell you to reduce it, but they don’t tell you how much you should have when you’re done. Because they don’t know, and because they’re too lazy to figure out how to measure it, or at least describe it. Sometimes they will say “reduce by half” or “to the syrup stage,” but that’s only because their editor told them they better put SOMETHING there.
- Chicken processed SV@140Fx4 hours. Like I said, I used wings and trim from the breasts, but you can use whatever.
- S+P to taste.
- 1 cup neutral stock.
- 2-3 oz. Niagara jelly, and good luck finding that. Apple jelly will do fine, even mint jelly, currant. Don’t use strawberry or berry. Well, go ahead, if you can dig that, all those seeds, knock yerself out.
- 2 oz. butter
- 1 oz. green onions. I used almost the entire green part from one bunch.
- Butter lettuce for liner, or whatever you have in the fridge/ Really.
- Carrots for garnish, optional, kind of a wing thing.
- I purposely prepared this without any coating or breading, just to prove that I could do it.
- I seasoned the chicken right there in the Ziploc Quart bag.
- Into a lightly oiled or sprayed 300F pan. Hot enough to sizzle but not hot enough to smoke. That’s how you can tell.
- Patiently listen to them brown. Sip your beverage of choice, usually iced coffee for me.
- Don’t move them around, that just slows the process down. Let them sizzle, and watch, you can see the color if you pay attention.
- Continue to brown. The skin is still on, give it time to render.
There is no such thing as Golden Black
- If you did it right, you will see all those awesome drippings in the pan. There may be more flavor in the pan than there is in the chicken.
- Remove the chicken and set it aside. Cooking the chicken in the liquid is a myth. It actually makes the chicken lose more moisture.
- If you don’t believe me, weigh the chicken before adding the liquid and then after. Exposure to heat makes things lose weight. There is no way to make meat gain weight by heating it.
- Add the neutral stock and stir to remove the drippings from the pan. You can see how brown it’s gotten already. Bring to a steady boil.
- Niagara, Baby. Makes me think of my mom, even now.
- Add the jelly to the boiling stock.
- Add the butter to the boiling sauce, and the bubbles will start getting larger. That’s how you know.
- Add the wings and toss to coat. If the sauce is still a little thin, NOW you can let them simmer a bit.
Don’t tell me to simmer down
- Large bubbles and starting to stick to the chicken.
- Add your green onions.
- Never dump. Tong the chicken out and arrange it in the center of the nest, and drizzle.
- Watch the game.
- Make a mess.