Friday, February 01, 2013

Tea Smoked Wings a la Party!

Photo from Stuart Phillips of Red Wagon Creamery

When Katie asked Party Cart to create a tea-infused recipe for the article in Take Root Magazine, Tiffany immediately thought of wings. "Wings, wings, wings," she kept repeating. I was under the impression that the recipe would include chicken wings in some form, and it did. But through the process described below, Mark and Tiffany unleashed the chicken wing cannon. They transformed the evolutionarily impressive wing of a chicken into a dish that produced a symphony of mouthfeel and flavor. At once, it was crispy, caramelized, brittle, and juicy. This multi-day recipe delivers layer upon layer of gastronomic rewards. In fact, I had the thought that the wings tasted too good to be street legal. Yet, they were served on Friendly Street, in the great tradition of street food across the world.
Party Cart is preparing to open a restaurant in downtown Eugene. Currently, they are offering meals for delivery or pick up Tuesday-Friday as well as catering services. Visit their Facebook page to learn more (viewable even without a Facebook account):
Chicken Wing Confit with Lapsang Souchong Tea Sauce
Recipe by Tiffany Norton and Mark Kosmicki of Party Cart

For the Confit:
3 pounds chicken wings, cut into 3 pieces, tips reserved for sauce
24 grams sea salt
4 cloves
8 each: peppercorns, fennel seeds, szechuan peppercorns, all smashed
1 star anise, smashed
½ inch cinnamon stick, smashed
2 teaspoons lapsang souchong
3 pounds lard, or enough to cover wings

For the Tea Sauce:
4 cups strong tea (3 tablespoons lapsang souchong, 4 cups water, steeped 10 minutes)
Wing tips
¾ cup honey
½ cup tamari
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Pinch each: fennel seeds, szechuan peppercorns
1 star anise
½ dried thai chili
1 tablespoon minced pickled ginger
2 tablespoon sliced garlic

To Finish:
Pinch lapsang souchong
2 teaspoons chopped celery leaf
½ cup tea sauce

To make the confit:
Combine wings (minus tips) salt and all spices for the confit in a 1 gallon ziploc bag and seal. Squish around to equally distribute salt and spices. Refridgerate for 1 day minimum and 2 days if possible.

Rinse salt and spices off of wings and pat dry. Place in an oven-safe pot. Melt the lard in a separate pot. Pour lard over the chicken wings making sure to cover them completely. Bring to a simmer and drop them down into a 190 degree oven. Cook for 6 hours. Cool completely in the fat. The wings can be finished up to about a week later at this point.

To make the sauce:
Combine all ingredients for the sauce and simmer for 1 hour. Using a spider, scoop out all chunks, including the wing tips, and discard. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the sauce to a near syrup consistency.

To finish:
Melt fat and wings in a 200 degree oven or on low heat on the stovetop. Remove wings. Heat a cast iron pan to high with a small amount of confit fat. Brown wings on all sides making sure the skin is crisp. Toss them in a bowl with a pinch of tea, celery leaf, and ½ cup of tea sauce, or to taste...PARTY.

Note: Lapsang souchong is available at J-Tea or in the bulk sections of Sundance and The Kiva.

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