I get so excited when Spring comes around, the flowers are in full bloom and the Farmers Markets have opened with fresh vegetables, fruits and homemade goods. I always try to hit up at least two Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings. My favorite things to pick up include homemade eggrolls from Mathoo’s Eggrolls (you can only get them at the Fishers FM); bratwurst burgers from Uncle Jay’s Pork at the Noblesville Farmers Market and fresh vegetables from another local grower. I have been to several other FMs but these are definitely my go to places every Saturday morning.

This weekend, I picked up some fresh corn that I grilled with some chicken wings that I decided to make my own sauce for. One of the things I love so much about cooking is being able to use fresh ingredients from local farmers and from my own garden (at the end of the blog, I will list any of the ingredients that were made by local farmers or artisans). The hubby liked it so much, he told me to make sure to write it down so I could make them again so I figured this would be the best way to capture the information for future grill nights. If I were to make it again, I would make it a little more spicy but I definitely like the nice balance of sweet and spicy in the recipe.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 – 1.5 cups wine vinegar (depending on taste and strength)
1 cup raspberry jalapeno jam (you can use your favorite)
2 teaspoons dried pepper spice (I used my 2011 crop; you could also mince fresh from the garden)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 – 3 cups barbecue sauce
1 fresh peach, diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
15 – 20 chicken wings

Turn on the grill. Using a large Ziploc or bowl with a lid, mix the chicken with a little bit of EVOO and cook on the grill until browned. Turn on the oven to 300 degrees. Saute the onion in a skillet with the butter and olive oil until translucent. Pour in the wine vinegar and allow the mixture to cook and reduce. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and allow to cook down while the chicken is cooking on the grill. When the chicken is finished cooking, add to the skillet and mix well. Cover the skillet with a lid and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes to allow the mixture to infuse the chicken.

Since I had purchased a basket of peaches and the hubby is gone for the week, I didn’t want them to go to waste so I decided to go ahead and make some Peach Jam. If you’ve never made your own jams, jellies, preserves, etc. the process is very quick and simple so don’t be afraid to do a little canning of your own. I really like Ball’s new freezer cups that work great with canning fruit.

Peach Jam
2 cups of finely diced peaches
1.5 cups of sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 packet of pectin (I use Ball Original Fruit Pectin net wt. 1.75 oz)

Combine the peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. I quickly put it in my food processor and give it a couple of quick blends (not too much – you still want texture). Put it back in the skillet on the stove and quickly add the pectin allowing it to come to a hard boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Process filled jars in boilimg-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner and cool on a wire rack. To distribute fruit, cool for about 20 minutes, then gently turn and tilt jars to without inverting them. The jam will become more firmly set after standing for one week.

And now, to list those items that I used that I want to give props to local farmers and artisans:
1 – The Olive Branch Olive Oil – I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this stuff. I use the garlic EVOO and I also stock up on lots of Violet Balsamic Oil. We mix these two together with hot french bread, to make a delicious dressing for salads and generally to cook with. It is up in the Northern part of Indiana so I order online and have it delivered to my house. Every once in a while, I will catch them at a Home Show or somewhere which is always a nice surprise.
2 – Sandy’s Homestyle Raspberry-Jalapeno Jam – I picked this up at the Fishers Farmers Market on an endorsement from a friend – it is quite delicious I must admit. I will probably test out my sister’s Mango Jalapeno Jelly the next time I make wings – you just can’t go wrong with the mix of sweet and spicy!