La Brea Tar Pit Chicken Wings
It’s easy to understand why chicken wings are so popular (as if all that crisp skin weren’t enough of a reason).
Economical and sold in just about every market, they capture the essence of relaxed entertaining: it’s hard to stand on ceremony while eating with your fingers. Anyone who has ever visited the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles will understand how this great tasting hors d’oeuvre got its name. The recipe came to us from reader Metta Miller, from Boston, and it’s a staff favorite.
4 pounds chicken wings, split at joint and wing tips discarded 1 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup dry red wine 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
Arrange wings in one layer in a large roasting pan.
Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over moderately low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour evenly over wings.
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn wings over and bake until sauce is thick and sticky, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes more. Transfer wings to a platter.
Serves 6 to 8 as a main course (makes about 14 cups) Active time: 1 hour Start to finish : 2 3/4 hours plus soaking time for beans (and additional time if making stock)
Real minestrone, with pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and kale, is one of the best vegetable soups on the planet. The secret is the kale, which grounds the soup and gives it a sturdy underpinning. If you omit it, you will have a perfectly nice vegetable soup, but it won’t be minestrone. Note that there’s no need to add pasta to stretch the soup.
We’re particularly partial to the lacinato variety of kale (see Glossary). Be aware that lacinato has more aliases than a gangster on the lam. It can be called Tuscan kale, cavolo nero (“black cabbage”), black kale, or dinosaur kale. Its .avor is as deep as the color of its green-black leaves, with a sweetness reminiscent of artichokes.
1/2 pound (1 1/4 cups) dried white beans, such as great northern, picked over and rinsed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 pound boiling potatoes 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 pound pancetta or lean bacon (4 slices),chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 zucchini (1 pound total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 4 cups shredded green cabbage, preferably savoy (3/4 pound) 1/2 pound kale, stems and tough center ribs discarded and leaves chopped (6 cups) 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained well and coarsely chopped 4 1/2 cups (36 ounces) chicken stock or store-bought lowsodium broth Freshly ground black pepper accompaniment : 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano (about 2 ounces)
Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches, refrigerated, for at least 8 hours (or see page 267 for quick-soaking procedure); drain.
Transfer beans to a 3-quart heavy saucepan, add cold water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep beans barely covered, until tender, about 50 minutes. Add salt and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let beans stand, uncovered.
Peel potatoes and cut into I-inch dice; put in a bowl of cold water.
Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp and pale golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Drain potatoes well, add to pot, along with zucchini and green beans, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add cabbage and kale and cook, stirring, until cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
Drain beans, reserving liquid. Purée half of beans with 1 cup reserved liquid in a blender or food processor (use caution). Stir into soup, along with remaining drained beans and reserved liquid. Simmer soup, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup with cheese.
c o o k ’ s n o t e The soup can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then refrigerate, covered.Thin with water, if desired, when reheating.
Panfried Red Snapper with Chipotle Butter
Serves 4 Active time : 15 minutes Start to finish : 15 minutes
Chefs love red snapper for its inherent drama. The fillets are often served skin side up because the skin is so beautiful. The sweet, mild flavor of the fish contrasts with the smoky heat oof canned chipotle chiles in a tomatoey adobo sauce. If you can’t find red snapper, you can substitute grouper, yelloweye rockfish, or onaga (Hawaiian red snapper), as long as the fillets are the same size and thickness, preferably with skin on.
11111/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 1/21 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (to taste; see Glossary) plus 2 teaspoons sauce from can 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets with skin Freshly ground black pepper About 3 tablespoons vegetable oil accompaniment : lime wedges
Mash together butter, chipotles, adobo sauce, and salt in a small bowl with a fork until blended.
Spread flour on a plate. Pat fish dry and cut each fillet crosswise in half. Season with salt and pepper.
Dredge fish in flour and shake off excess.
Heat 1 ? tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
Add 2 fillets, skin side up, and panfry, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer to plates and loosely cover to keep warm. Add oil to skillet as needed, heat until very hot, and cook remaining 2 fillets in same manner. Top fish with dollops of chipotle butter and serve with lime wedges.
Copyright © 2004 by Condé Nast Publications. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.