Have You Ever Had Angels On Horseback?
Where Did Angels On Horseback Come From
Angels on Horseback are appetizers that were first served in France in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Strictly speaking angels on horseback are oysters wrapped in bacon and some recipes call for a water chestnut to be included inside the bacon with the oyster.
Angels on Horseback is a very popular way to cook oysters on the east coast of the United States and they are a very popular appetizer at weddings on Long Island New York. I used them as an appetizer all the time while working as an executive chef in north Florida in the 1990s. I once made 500 for a appetizer for a party of 300 and we were out of them in 20 minutes.
Angels on Horseback are one of those appetizers that seems to become really popular for a time and then fade from memory until they are discovered again or featured on a cooking show or served at an important dinner at the White House.
President Kennedy loved angels on horseback and they were made and served often in the Kennedy White House as appetizers at dinner parties. Angels on Horseback had been made and served in the Kennedy family for at least a hundred years. And the appetizer had been made and served all over the New England area for at least a hundred years going back to 1870 or before. Once people figured out how great oysters and bacon tasted together the rest was history. They were absent for a number of years but President Clinton requested them often as does president Obama.
The New York Times had an article in it around 1876 about angels on horseback and the recipe in that article called for oysters, bacon, and water chestnuts. It went on to say that they should be served as a appetizer and before long angels on horseback were being made all over the United States. It is widely known that they were being served in as early as 1730 in New Orleans. They are served all over New Orleans today.
In the photo above we took plump oysters and wrapped each individual oyster in bacon and then we grilled the skewered angels on horseback on the charcoal grill until the oysters were done and the bacon was crisp. You can sprinkle the bacon and oysters with salt and pepper while they cook.
Some people like to put their angels on horseback onto skewers and then soak them for a couple of hours in Italian Dressing. Then you cook them on the grill. I guarantee you nothing tastes better. Some people like ranch dressing with their cooked angels on horseback. Try it you just might discover you love it.
Cooking Note And Ideals
Be sure that if you want lemon juice on your Angels on Horseback that you add it to them after they have cooked and not before. If you add the lemon juice before you won't end up with as crispy of bacon as you might wish.
I have also marinated my Angels on Horseback in white wine before cooking them. it gives your appetizer a distinct and unique flavor that some people just love.
You can also try making them with a scallop instead of an oyster or add a peeled and de-veined shrimp at the center if you want to jazz them up a bit. Just be sure not to overcook your shrimp or they will be tough and chewy.
No one really knows where the name Angels on Horseback came from. But it stuck and you'll find them in France, the UK, the USA, and in Ireland where they have become very popular over the years.
Cooking Your Angels On Horseback In The Oven
You can if you wish bake your Angels on Horseback in the oven but if you do be sure that you don't overcook them. If they get to done the oysters won't be as tasty. You want the bacon to be crisp but the oyster should remain plump and juicy.
Some early cookbooks said to make your Angels on Horseback and then fry them in butter, white wine, and very thinly sliced shallots. I have prepared them this way and they are really good. Remember that no recipe is written in stone. If you want to try something different or add something new to a recipe why not give it a try. You never know what you may come up with.
In a book called " Seduced By Bacon " a recipe for the appetizer says that adding a little hot sauce to the dish turns them from heavenly to hellishly hot but still delicious. After all many of us love raw oysters on a cracker sprinkled with Louisiana Hot Sauce. I know I do.
Try Them Made With Chicken Livers Instead Of Oysters
In Malta, Spain and in the American State of Mississippi they leave the oyster out all together and make a delicious version of the dish with a chicken liver replacing the oyster. I've even had them made this way at a soul food cafe in Chicago where they had breaded them with a flour breading and then deep fried them. I've also made regular Angels on Horseback this way that I breaded with a tempura breading and deep fried and they were oh so delicious this way.
Please Vote In Our Poll.
One of the earliest mentions of Angels on Horseback was in 1896 in an article in the New York Times Newspaper. It is believed that the dish had its origins in England though some people claim it was in France that Angels on Horseback was first served.
And if you like a little fire you can sprinkle your Angels on Horseback with ground cayenne pepper while they are cooking. You can also make the dish with scallops instead of oysters but I prefer it with the oysters. I like my bacon to be crisp and the oyster inside the bacon is plump and juicy.
Angels On Horseback Are So Delicious
Angels on horseback is oysters wrapped in bacon and cooked until the bacon is crisp. The really great thing about this dish is that it can be cooked under your broiler or out back on the grill. The really important thing is that you want to keep turning them often so that all the bacon gets cooked crisp and the oysters get cooked thoroughly inside the bacon.
Oysters And Bacon Go Together Perfect
You can if you wish jazz up your oysters by placing three large oysters wrapped in bacon on each metal or bamboo skewer and soak them in Italian Dressing for 1 hour before you shake them off and cook them. You'll want to sprinkle your Angels on Horseback with salt and pepper to taste while they are cooking.
Angels On Horseback Were Popular In The White House
During the Kennedy Administration Angels on Horseback became very popular in and around Washington D.C. They were often cooked at the White House and they were soaked in Italian Dressing and then sprinkled with salt and pepper while they cooked under the broiler.
In most places ranch dressing is quite often served with Angels on Horseback. While some people prefer cocktail sauce. Some people also serve carrot and celery sticks with the Angels on Horseback.
Some Angels On Horseback Include A Water Chestnut
In some of the recipes for Angels on Horseback a water chestnut is included inside the bacon along with the oyster but I prefer them with just the oyster and the bacon. If you get your bacon good and crisp your oyster will be plump , juicy , and delicious. And I prefer mine with the carrot and celery sticks and ranch dressing. How about you?
Oh and don't forget to offer a fiery hot sauce on the side with your appetizer. Hot sauce makes the oyster appetizer hot and spicy and oh so delicious. Be sure to serve chilled celery and carrot sticks with the hot version to take away some of the heat. Ranch dressing is also a great side item here.
Post your comment , suggestions , tips , or questions down below now.
Please Vote In Our Poll.
Please post your comments , tips , suggestions and questions about Angels on Horseback below now.
Geocarves@icloud.com on December 19, 2016:
It has been some time but yes I have made these or something very close to these. I used two approaches, first I wrapped chicken livers with an inside 1/2" wide onion ring then wrap that in bacon, later I wrapped scallops in bacon, no onion, And grilled them. Always popular, never any leftovers, excellent appetizer. Any breading is optional. Exceptional expectations abound! You could half a boneless chicken thigh , wrap that in bacon, skewer it, then either deep fry or grill these precious poulet pockets. Positively garenteed to please. Sauce too.
vinoth on January 24, 2011:
it's very useful to me
Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on September 02, 2010:
Angels on Horseback are oh so delicious. All the great comments are wonderful. Thanks for the comments
K J Page from Pacific Northwest on June 30, 2010:
mm - will have to try this!!
Tony McGregor from South Africa on June 30, 2010:
Lovely story - I had no idea about this, though I love the food!
Thanks for sharing
Love and peace
twogroce on June 30, 2010:
WOW! Thanks for the article, that dish looks very good. Nicely done and informative.