Kelly Senyei, the founder of the food site Just a Taste, has garnered millions of fans with a delicious hook—every one of her recipes has a secret ingredient, something totally unexpected that takes a dish from common to extraordinary.
Some of the 125 tried-and-tested recipes are surprisingly simple like her Vanilla Bean Drop Doughnuts made with Greek yogurt, or the Sweet and Tangy Baked Chicken Wings made with blackberry jam. Other recipes are nothing short of genius, such as Savory Caramel Corn made with bacon and thyme, Healthy White Chicken Chili made with hummus, and Salted Caramel Bread Pudding made with chocolate croissants.
Just because the secret ingredients are surprising doesn’t mean they’re expensive or hard to find, either. Kelly is a busy mother of three, and she made sure every ingredient can be found in any supermarket. Her family-friendly recipes cover every occasion, from crowd-pleasing snacks and 30-minute entrées to make-ahead sides and holiday-worthy desserts.
Sweet and Tangy Baked Chicken Wings
It’s hard to beat the crunch of deep-fried chicken wings. But when it comes to making wings for a crowd, manning a vat of boiling oil with tongs in one hand and a cocktail in the other takes a level of agility I am just not equipped with. If I’m hosting a party, I want to actually be at that party, not stuck in the kitchen. It’s the oven to the rescue! Roasting the wings atop a wire rack allows the fat to drip off, which makes the skin extra-crispy. Toss them in a sweet and tangy hoisin-blackberry glaze and chicken wings are suddenly a fuss-free, low-maintenance snack for a party of two or twenty.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Yield 6 servings
2½ pounds chicken wings, drumettes and flats separated
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup blackberry jam
1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then place a wire rack on top.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the five-spice powder, and salt. Arrange the wings in a single layer on the wire rack, spacing them apart so that they aren’t touching.
Bake the wings until they are cooked through and crispy on the exterior, about 45 minutes.
While the wings are baking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil
in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the hoisin sauce and jam and cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the sauce on top of the wings and toss to combine.
Transfer the wings to a serving platter, top with the sesame seeds, and serve.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.