Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Far West" Chicken Wings

This recipe was published as my monthly column for the January 7th edition of The Hinton Voice, my local newspaper. 

[Back in October I went on the road trip of a lifetime, spending just under two weeks driving across Canada.  I had a conference in Montréal for work and since most of my husband’s family lives in a small French community nearby, we decided to extend the trip and visit everyone while we were there.  For a portion of the trip we stayed with his Mémère (grandmother) in the 1800’s farmhouse that she and Pépère had saved up all of their hard earned money to purchase in their early days of marriage.  Walking into the house is like stepping back in time.  Not only is the antique wood stove in the kitchen used for cooking all of the meals, it also heats the entire house, acts as an incinerator (nothing gets thrown out – everything is either recycled or burned), and even has a spot to hang laundry to dry.   To say that this visit was one of the most enriching experiences of my entire life would truly not do it justice. 

We spent a lot of time exploring the old barn, which was filled to the brim with antique treasures.  One of the rooms even boasts an original spinning jenny and some of the items date back as far as the 1600’s.  Some of these treasures included cookbooks with pages so brittle they crackled beneath my fingertips, and instructions that required cooking over the cooled down coals from the morning fire.  Needless to say, I spent a good portion of my trip pouring over cookbooks with Mémère, bringing many, many recipes home with me.

One morning after exploring the barn and chatting over recipes, Mémère disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a cast iron pan filled with these chicken wings.  They were literally the best thing ever, and I knew it was a recipe that I would have to re-create once I arrived home.  When I asked how she had made the sauce, she responded with “oh, a little of this and a little of that” and I thought that was the end of it.  Mémère had other ideas though, because just before we left she came over and placed a handwritten copy of this recipe in my hands.  I couldn’t help but smile at the title of her recipe, written specifically for her visitors from “The Far West”.]

- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 kg chicken wings (or any cut of chicken, skin on)


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sauce ingredients.

Heat an oven safe frying pan over medium heat.  If you don’t have an oven safe frying pan (cast iron works great for this recipe!), you can use your usual frying pan, transferring the chicken to an oven safe dish for the next step.

Dip the wings in the sauce, and then fry for 5-7 minutes, until wings are slightly crisp.  Turn chicken wings over with tongs, then coat with the remaining sauce.

Transfer chicken wings to a well pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, turning them midway through and covering them with the sauce. 

The wings should be crispy but well glazed with the sauce.



  1. As a fan of vintage cookbooks and recipes in general, I am dying of jealousy right now. (And also, how adorable is memere, with her handwritten recipe cards? What an amazing woman!)
    This post makes me miss my own memere's house... though admittedly hers was of a much more recent vintage, having been built new and decorated in the absolute latest style when she and my grandfather were newlyweds. It was a total 1960s time capsule, right down to the mint-green kitchen, and it was a magical place for us kids mostly because it never changed no matter how long it had been since your last visit.
    She moved into a nursing home when I was in high school, and the house was sold shortly after. I still miss it dearly.

    1. Thank you for your comments! Your Memere sounds like she was an amazing lady! Grandparents are so very wonderful! <3

  2. These look so delicious! Recipes that are mostly just "a little of this and a little of that" and a wink from a nice old lady are the best kinds of all :)

  3. That stove alone looks like it could tell a thousands stories. What a wonderful experiences. The chicken wings look amazing - I love how the sauce is... well, it's like a sauce made of sauces. It sounds like it's been perfectly crafted to balance the flavours though. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. It's one of those recipes thats concocted of what's in the kitchen at the time. It's a such a great glimpse of household staples throughout the eras.

  4. Awww, grandparents have the best recipes, the ones that have really stood the test of time! These sound amazing... completely packed with all those flavours. Delicious!

    1. Vintage recipes are my absolute favourite - especially the ones passed down from family! <3

  5. I love chicken wings. LOVE them. Family recipes passed down from generation to generation are a treasure. Thank you for sharing your Mémère's recipe.

  6. Oh my gosh, I could happily spend weeks with memere! AND THAT BARN FULL OF TREASURES! God bless you all. I just found your blog via Pinterest and boy am I saving it! Thanks!

  7. It is one of my favorite dishes. Love to enjoy them for this dinner.

  8. I loved This Recipe...... I didn't have orange I used a can of Pineapples in Juice and it was GREAT!


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