It’s no secret that we’re fond of Boston-based chef Jamie Bissonnette, the 2014 holder of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northeast” title with three restaurants to his name. Toro Boston easily made our shortlist for the 25 Best Restaurants of America, and his meat-filled guide, The New Charcuterie Cookbook, was one of the best cookbooks of last year (or any year, for that matter). To cater our Super Bowl cravings, we turned it over to the chef of the hour, who shared his recipe for sweet and tangy chicken wings. Of course you could just eat your friend’s “famous” chili con queso and hate yourself. But one look at these and we’re guessing you won’t want to. — Jack Seemer
When I was growing up, chicken wings were one of my favorite things to eat. My mom wasn’t that good a cook, but I loved her barbecue honey chicken wings. As an adult, I find them far too sweet, however, so I set out to make my own version of her recipe. I love the combination of honey and za’atar — the za’atar adds a slightly acidic tanginess that works great with the urfa pepper.
Editor’s Note: Za’atar is a popular blend of herbs and spices used widely in Middle Eastern cuisine. Typical varieties can be found at ethnic and specialty supermarkets, or simply bought online. Alternatively, a standard blend can be made quite easily by mixing equal parts oregano, thyme and marjoram herbs with half parts toasted sesame seeds, salt and sumac.
Ingredients: (Feeds 4 to 6 people)
1 pound (450 grams) chicken wings
1 tablespoon (15 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoon (8 grams) black pepper
8 cups (1.9 liters) Schmaltz (or duck fat or lard)
2 cups (473 milliliters) honey
4 tablespoon (60 milliliters) white wine vinegar (preferably chardonnay)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) urfa pepper
4 tablespoon (60 grams) za’atar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) toasted sesame seeds
1. Season the wings with salt and pepper. 2. Bring the fat to 200°F (93°C) over a simmer. 3. Once the fat is rendered, place chicken wings in a large pan and the pour the fat over the wings. 4. Cover with tin foil, place in 200°F (93°C) oven, and let simmer for 1 hour and 20 minutes. 5. Cool the wings in an in ice bath to room temperature. 6. Remove them from the fat and let them dry on a wire rack. (The wings can be stored in fat in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.) 7. Mix the honey, vinegar, urfa and za’atar until combined. 8. Roast chicken wings in a 400°F (204°C) oven for 12 minutes or until brown and golden. 9. When the wings are done, place them on a serving tray and drizzle with honey glaze, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, sea salt and chives.
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