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Last month on the 27th, we went to Denver’s 13th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. I can’t believe we were completely unaware before of this amazing cultural festival going on just an hour away! This place was like heaven for culture-crazy foodies.  DSCN3311

We rode the very convenient shuttle from the stadium and made it to the fesitval for the opening ceremonies.

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This years theme was Thailand and the Thai Consulate of Los Angeles had a special booth set up where you could sample a variety of fruit from the country, get your name written in Thai, play a traditional instrument, and watch some amazing fruit carving. Nearby on a stage, these beautiful Thai dancers were performing. The music and the movements of the dancers were mesmerizing. At times, because of how they stood, they looked like one person.

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The musical performances throughout the day were varied and represented many unique Asian cultures. Some of the highlights for me were the dancers and classical musicians from Thailand and the Chinese lion dance. I have always wanted to see the lion dance performed in person. It was thrilling!

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Of course, it didn’t become a party until the Bollywood-style Indian dancers took the stage! At one point, they encouraged everyone to dance along and I got up and made my best attempt. I’m taking dance this semester, so by the next festival, I will look a tad less ridiculous.

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All of the colorful outfits and costumes, combined with exotic sounds and euphoric smells, made for an extremely stimulating treat for the senses! The festival was so well done and we stayed the entire day. I only wish we could have come back for Sunday’s events.

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While I’m well-versed in Asian cuisine and enjoy cooking a great deal of it at home, my husband and I were thrilled to stumble upon a cuisine completely unfamiliar to us! The Hmong Alliance Church had a food stand this year offering up Hmong sausage, stuffed chicken wings, sticky purple rice, and lotus flower cookies. I am unashamed to admit we ate two sausages, a plate of purple rice, a chicken wing, a Hmong eggroll, and a packet of lotus cookies (and some Filipino food that looked too good to pass up!). The key at these sort of foodie heavens is to order one of each item you want to try and split it. Far easier to devour and conquer a wider variety of food! The Hmong food was our favorite.

DSCN3417Stuffed chicken wing and purple rice above. Hmong Sausage and Lotus cookies below.
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It seems like whenever I have something really fantastic at a restaurant or event, I leave feeling determined to make it at home in my own kitchen. When I got back from the Dragon Boat Festival, I immediately scoured the internet for Stuffed Chicken Wing recipes. After settling on the one that seemed the most authentic and like the wing we had, we began the time consuming process. They really aren’t kidding when they say these stuffed chicken wings are a labor of love! Ever try de-boning a chicken wing? It was certainly a first for me. But even after all the intensive preparation and the messy process of stuffing the filling into them, I felt the final product was completely worth it. These chicken wings are like having egg rolls stuffed inside a crispy baked chicken wing. They were absolutely delicious! Of course, I wouldn’t share how tasty they were without providing the recipe and some tempting photos 🙂

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First off, to de-bone the chicken wings, you are going to want to watch this video:

Then, follow these directions for the filling and cooking methods: http://iarethefoodsnob.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/dinner-with-d-stuffed-chicken-wings/

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