Partly inspired by the June issue of Bon Appétit, and partly by a friend's love of wings, this get-together featured five types of chicken wings/drumsticks, aromatic corn, a fancy barley salad and a refreshing agua fresca.
If you read this blog regularly, you might have picked up on the fact that we like parties that revolve around food, something we can make into an annual tradition, like our pork feast or pumpkin carving. I have a feeling Memorial Weekend Chicken Grilling is here to stay.
Our friends brought over marinated chicken wings and drumsticks, we had a total of five recipes -- teriyaki, honey-mustard, Korean, one with soy sauce and ginger, and one with salad dressing and hot sauce. I was ready to declare my Korean chicken a winner, but, after consuming A LOT of chicken, I realized this cook-off was not so black and white. Every recipe was good, even the weird salad dressing one that I had pre-judged. Will I ever learn?
Along with consuming many pounds of chicken, we also managed to eat a delicious barley salad (recipe below). This might be the best grain salad I've ever had. The recipe needs no tweaking. It's pretty easy to make, as long as you plan ahead of time, and juice your citrus for the dressing, which by the way, was totally refreshing, lightening up this salad and giving it a summery flavor.
Lastly, let me mention the corn. Because this wasn't just any grilled corn. The key here is good, flavored olive oil. I used a citrus blend. Drizzle your corn with the oil, sprikley with kosher salt, and add your favorite fresh herbs, rosemary and thyme work well. Wrap each piece of corn with foil, and grill for a total of about 30 minutes, rotating along the way. In the end, as you unwrap your corn packet, your nose will be greeted with a fresh, herby scent. This recipe will not disappoint.
Unlike most of our other parties, this time we had leftovers. I guess 12 pounds of chicken for six people is a bit much. But overindulging with friends is what holidays are all about.
1 large fennel bulb (about 10 ounces), 2 tablespoons fronds set aside, bulb cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill plus 1/2 cup dills prigs, divided
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
4 large radishes, thinly sliced, divided
1/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted, halved lengthwise