Sunday, May 13, 2012

crispy chicken wings with mushrooms, garlic, thyme and vermouth

Chicken tends not to be the most exciting type of meat, and it takes a great chicken recipe to get me to stand up and take notice. This, my friends, is a great chicken recipe. And I'm not just saying that because this is by far the garlickiest dish I have ever made.  It's incredibly crispy, without being weighed down with any sort of batter, and the white wine, mushrooms and thyme are the perfect sauce.

I guess it's no surprise that this is such a winner. It only comes from the cookbook of Ferran Adrià, of the famed restaurant, El Bulli, which closed to much fanfare last summer after 5 consecutive years ranked as the best restaurant in the world. It was kind of a big deal.

But where El Bulli was known for it's crazy, fanciful modernist cuisine, the El Bulli cookbook is about the food served behind the scenes, for the staff before service. The Family Meal is about hearty, filling, well balanced meals that was easy to make for a crowd, and these chicken wings fit that perfectly. Only a few well chosen, affordable ingredients, simple techniques... a definite crowd pleaser.

I don't know what Adrià would have paired with  these in the book, but we were pretty happy eating them with some broccoli fried rice. This is a great dish, full of flavor!

Pan-Fried Chicken Wings with Mushrooms
from The Family Meal by Ferran Adrià, via Serious Eats
6 chicken wings, cut in half

salt and black pepper 
¼ cup olive oil 
4 ounces mushrooms, cut into thick slices 
10 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 dried bay leaf 
1 sprig fresh thyme 
¼ cup white wine 
3½ tablespoons water

Season the chicken wings with salt and black pepper. Pour the oil into a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add the chicken wings. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the wings are well browned, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the wings brown too quickly.

If you haven't already reduced the heat to medium-low, do so now, and add the chopped garlic. Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.

Add the bay leaf and sprig of thyme. Stir well, and let cook for a few seconds. Then pour in the white wine. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the liquid reduce for a minute or so.

Toss in the mushrooms. Stir well and let cook for two minutes. Then pour in the water, and cook until the liquid has reduced and the mushrooms are tender, about five minutes. Serve immediately (or it will get soggy! you don't want to lose that delightful crispiness

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