Orange Pineapple Chinese 5-Spice Chicken Wings

We’ve successfully made it to the final stretch of Whole30! I’m not going to lie, there were several times this weekend where I repeated “I’d do literally anything for wine,” just hoping that my husband would give me the A-OK to pour a glass–or six.

But he didn’t. So here we are.

Connor and I played this game all weekend where we planned…and then re-planned what we were going to eat and drink come Friday when we’re finally real-life adults again and can eat whatever TF we want. It was fun until we realized the reality of the full week before us. 

All jokes aside, let me reiterate (as I have in my last several blog entries): Whole30 is not hard.

Is it time consuming? Yes. Does it suck when you’re on day 26 and you’d kill to drink anything BUT water, tea or LaCroix? Absolutely.

But it’s not hard. Anyone with an ounce of willpower can manage past day 4 (that’s when my caffeine headaches finally went away–but again, giving up coffee was my choice). And does it really count as food if it’s been processed so many times, they have to add the flavor back in? No. It also doesn’t count if you pay less than $5 and don’t even have to get out of your car. That’s not real food, people.

Over the past 27 days, I’ve had some really great experiences (well worth giving up cheese for a month):

  • My workout induced asthma attacks are now non-existent
  • I gave up coffee, which has been a goal for years
  • I feel more confident about what I’m putting into my body–our kids are going to be those weirdos bringing Fruit Leathers in their lunch boxes
  • And my day isn’t over after over-indulging. No more post-lunch comas, God bless.

And I’ve found some really great way to satisfy my cravings and still feel like a healthy human afterwards. This recipe definitely tops that list.

Orange Pineapple Chinese 5-Spice Chicken Wings

2 Servings
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Total: 1 hour in the InstaPot, 3 hours in a slow cooker

You’ll Need:

  • 2 ¼ cups 100% orange pineapple juice, divided
  • 3 TBSP + 1 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 TBSP garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP coconut flour (almond meal or tapioca flour work too!)
  • 3 lbs chicken wings
  • 2 TBSP Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Cilantro (for garnish)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Green onion (for garnish)

Here’s what you do:

    1. In your InstaPot or slow cooker, stir together 2 cups of juice along with the coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and salt.
    2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining juice and coconut flour until smooth. Stir into the slow cooker/InstaPot with the other ingredients.
    3. Pat down your chicken wings to remove excess moisture. Mix together the Chinese 5-spice and red pepper flakes; coat chicken wings evenly on both sides.
    4. InstaPot: Add chicken wings to the pot, seal and press the “Poultry” button.
      Slow Cooker: Add chicken to the slower cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or until no longer pink.
    5. Once the chicken wings have cooked, line a baking pan with parchment paper and turn your oven broiler on high.
    6. Pour remaining sauce into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the sauce begins boiling, boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce reduces by about half (~15 minutes). Once reduced, remove sauce from heat to thicken slightly more.
    7. While the sauce simmers, generously baste the wings and place them on the 3rd oven rack from the top. Broil for 5 minutes. Remove wings, baste again and broil for an additional 4-5 minutes.
    8. Flip the wings, baste again and broil for an additional 4-5 minutes. Once done, garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds and green onion.

wings2This was exactly what we needed heading into our last weekend of Whole30. We used the extra sauce (you’ll have extra sauce) for dipping and served the wings with potato wedges. Potato wedges have become my new go-to side. They’re super filling, they’re cheap and easy to make, and you can dip them in guac which satisfies the other 90% of my cravings.

We will definitely make these babies again–and not just because I have a whole jar of Chinese 5-Spice leftover. But if you have any additional recipes to justify this purchase, send ’em my way.


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