The day after the incident I doused my car with baking soda, creating a paste that oozed into every crevice and crack of my leather seats. Day two I researched "how to get rid of bad smells in your car" only to find that vinegar was often a solution to these issues. Day three, I started crying in the car because my eyes stung so badly from the noxious fumes. Day four I became immune to the smell, thinking it had dissipated. Day five I drove my friend and learned that the smell had not dissipated. Day six I swore off vinegar for good. Day 366 (literally) I sold my car, got a fantastic trade in value, and decided to revisit the notorious acid.
I love vinegar. The love started early, like a high school romance. My mother's salad dressing is and always will be a driving force as to why I visit my parent's house so frequently. In college, when my friends and I got our own kitchen, my roommates were concerned with the ratio of vinegar to oil I added to my salad dressings. Anyone who is savy knows that it is 1/2 cup vinegar to 1/4 olive oil duhh. The fact that I slurped up the remaining pure pure vinegar with ease led me to once research on the computer, "cravings for vinegar." In case you are wondering, Web MD states that I may have brain cancer. I will not even got into detail about my study abroad experience in London and amazement that malt vinegar was a staple at every single tabletop.
So as you can imagine, when vinegar remnants were splattered across my dashboard, I was emotional. A critical ingredient to my life, something I cherish so much was literally thrown in my face. It looked like a crime scene. How could I kill something I loved so much? To say I avoided vinegar for a year is a bald face lie. Did this incident impact me? Yes. I'm not exaggerating, and if any of you have had a bottle of vinegar explode in your car and want to start a support group hit me up. Vinegar and I have a love hate relationship. I love the taste, I hate the fumes.
So the fumes of vinegar is what always steers me away from any recipes that include a balsamic reduction. I have my favorite pre-made brand that always seems to do the job. However, when I stumbled upon this wing recipe, which featured my new Amazon purchase of Chinese five spice, I was intrigued. I have really been into making wings, especially in the oven. If you have a wired rack, I encourage you to bake your wings, over a baking sheet using the rack. It makes them so crispy; I will never not use this method. Endlessly making buffalo wings can get a bit tiring and knowing that Buffalo Wild Wings boasts over 20 different flavors, I was tempted to try a different type. I'm so happy I did because I have made these wings four times now and both times I have had eaters ask me where I bought them from. I love bringing them to parties and then surprising attendees with the fact that they are baked not fried. It's no doubt that the best part about these wings is the sauce and yes, I have overcome my fears of making homemade balsamic reduction. I faced my fears head on and have made this recipe three times now. The key is to cook the sauce just a bit more than you think. You want that sticky, thick consistency. It coats the wings perfectly and the balsamic vinegar gives it a sweet yet tangy flavor. Did bringing these wings into my new car evoke moments of fear? Yes. Was it worth it? Totally. I adapted this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings, who I have been seriously loving recently.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
juice of one lime
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chinese five spice
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
Soy Balsamic Glaze
1 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp Sriracha (less if you are sensitive to spice)
Combine marinade ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Pour into a gallon sized ziploc bag and add in chicken wings. Toss so that all wings are evenly coated. Place in the fridge and marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone mat and place a wired rack over the baking sheet. Lightly spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray. Place the wings on the rack and bake for 40 minutes. When done, place under the broiler for 2 minutes on high. Flip the chicken over, being careful not to burn, and cook for an additional 1 minute. Meanwhile, while the chicken is baking, bring water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sriracha to boil in a medium sized skillet. It is important to use the most shallow dish you have because a saucepan or anything deep will take much longer to thicken. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick and glaze like. Remove the chicken from the oven, place into a large bowl and toss with sauce. Top with desired ingredients like sesame seeds or green onions.