My Canadian roots stretch back further than I know. I have great, great grandparents who were born here, so though I always say I'm of British/Irish/Scottish descent, that passionate, pale-skinned portion of me is only from the males in the family. My grandmothers’ parents were born here I believe (on both sides)...so realistically, I'm a Canadian girl, through and through.
Until very recently I would have scoffed at any thought of good "Canadian" food (as would I'm sure, most people). But think about it. Canada produces lots of gorgeously delicious fruits and vegetables. There are farms that produce free-range chickens, milk-fed veal and some of the best grain-fed cattle in the world. We have road-side stands that sell corn and green beans; berries and apples; pumpkins and tomatoes. We have farmer's markets dotting every green space in the city of Toronto that will support a few trailers or tents and their owners (there is even one outside of Ryerson University every Tuesday evening this summer!).
When I think about what flavour best encompasses Canada for me it has always been Maple. We proudly display the tree's leaf on our flag, one of our favourite hockey teams (that we love and also love to hate) wears it with honour on their jerseys and it is the symbol of our country, right next to the beaver. But beaver meat, while apparently sweet and tender - like corned beef - is not readily available (and no, I have never eaten it myself).
So Maple is the choice for me this weekend while I celebrate my home country’s birthday. I came up with this finger-licking good recipe for Maple Mustard Moose Wings just for the occasion.
Maple Mustard Moose Wings*
*"Moose" wings are similar to "Buffalo" wings, only they are bigger and more Canadian. Made with chicken drumsticks, these "wings" are easy to eat like wings but big enough to satisfy any huge Moose-like appetite.
20 chicken drumsticks (and thighs if you want)
1 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) in a large bowl, zip lock bag or pan. Add chicken and marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour at room temperature.
2. Remove chicken from marinade and pour excess marinade into a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Allow to cook until thickened and reduced by half.
3. Grill or roast "wings" until cooked through, basting with reduced marinade