My mother taught me many important things. One of the great fears she instilled in me was a fear of pressure cookers. I don’t think they have a name for that one yet.
The story goes that when she was younger and living in Sri Lanka she was cooking something in the pressure cooker in her family’s kitchen. The pressure cooker got a bit hot under the lid, accumulated a bit too much pressure and as she puts it, kind of exploded. So the family pressure cooker sat in my mum’s kitchen cupboard for years, untouched. One day she decided to slay the proverbial dragon and revive the pressure cooker once again. Of course, these were the days before internet, and the instruction manuals were long gone. There was no useful busy body on ehow.com telling us how to work the thing. Ammi guessed and we waited with baited breath as it let out one long, drawn out, pressurized whistle. Then two, then three until finally we decided to turn the cooker off. We’d tempted fate enough already. Unfortunately, the fear that was instilled in regards to pressure cookers remains with me, to this day. Nowadays when I turn it on, I make sure Mister C is far, far away. I always plan to wait for three whistles and then chicken out at about two.
When Mr Firehouse and I were living in Homebush, we’d make this recipe (or half the quantity) in our little pressure cooker. It was a quick, cheap and easy meal and oft requested at that. Whenever I pull chicken wings out of the freezer and ask, “what should I make? ” the answer is usually “Chicken Wing Pasta”. I can’t remember where I got the original idea from but I think it was Better Home & Gardens, years ago.
- 1kg (a little over 2 pounds) chicken wings
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 cans of tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (or dried herbs of your choice)
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/2 cup of red wine
- 2 red chillis (optional)
In a heavy based saucepan, place your chicken wings in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat on. Move the wings around so that they get some colour and they do not stick to the bottom. Do in two batches if you don’t have the room.
Once the wings have some brown, add the garlic, herbs and the red wine. Make sure you use the wine to help deglaze the pan and get all the good quality stuff off the bottom.
Add the tinned tomatoes and chillis (if using) and add enough water to cover the wings. Bring the whole mix to the boil and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Place the lid back on and leave to cook for an hour and fifteen minutes. That is, until your sauce resembles the following;
While the sauce remains on the heat, fish out all the chicken wings which should be just falling apart. Shred the meat when it’s cool enough to touch and discard the bones, cartilage and any other nasty bits you don’t love.
Place the shredded chicken back into the sauce, season to taste and serve over long pasta or quinoa.