Chicken Wings with Honey and Za’atar
These are not your normal chicken wings; nope. Chicken Wings with Honey and Za’atar seasoning are uniquely flavored and prepared and they are amazing!
When I was asked to review Jamie Bissonnette’s new cookbook, ‘The New Charcuterie Cookbook‘ I was an absolute yes. Jamie is the chef and owner of Toro NYC, and Coppa and Toro Boston. He is a James Beard Foundation Best Chef Northeast award winner and winner of the Cochon 555 nose-to-tail competition.
When I spied a recipe for these Chicken Wings with Honey and Za’atar I knew it was a done deal that I would make something too.
Jamie has also been featured in The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and Bon Appetit and he was awarded the People’s Choice: Best New Chef award by Food & Wine magazine. He’s got some chops and he knows how to use them!
I’ve tried my hand at charcuterie and the resulting bacon and corned beef were simply the best I’ve ever had. A select group of bloggers were asked to join a ‘Book Tour’ and each of us will be featuring a different dish from Jamie’s book.
I got to the list a bit late and knew I would not have time for curing something that had to hang for a long time so when I saw Chicken Wings with Honey and Za’atar I jumped at the chance.
Even though after the fact I had a nagging question wondering how this was charcuterie I did notice that this dish was inspired by one Jamie’s mom had made for him as a kid and the deal was sealed.
I went shopping and found a huge bag of chicken wings from Costco and the spices I needed at Savory Spice Shop. I had a small amount of Za’atar in my cupboard and it was time to refresh it but it was the Urfa Pepper that sparked that trip.
Also known as Isot pepper, this wonderful crushed chile from the Turkish town of Urfa is similar to Aleppo. Though called “red”, they actually are purplish black in color.
They are picked and cut, dried in the sun by day, then wrapped and sweated at night for more than a week. This sweating process gives the chiles a rich, earthy flavor and smoky aroma and after using them admit they are an integral part of the flavor of this dish.
I thought I was ready but I had a curve ball come at me as soon as I was ready to start. Ah…now I see why this is included in a book about Charcuterie! All the recipes in the section with the wings are prepared in FAT! This recipe specifically calls for lard, duck fat or schmaltz which is rendered chicken fat.
Thankfully I had some lard. Unfortunately there was NO way I was going to use my precious leaf lard for ONE pound of wings. I kept thinking, ‘Twenty-four of the most fabulous pie crusts ever OR a pound of chicken wings.’ It simply did not compute.
So I decided to use canola oil and a half cup of my precious lard; trying to keep in the spirit of charcuterie but without sacrificing a precious commodity.
I’m sure Jamie must have a bazillion pounds of rendered fats available to him but for me they are a premium and not one I could easily source or would pay to use for such a small quantity.
One thing to note? If you are like me and live at altitude you might want to cook your wings during this stage longer or increase the oven temp a bit. Your oven might say 200 degrees but it’s just not as hot and I erred in taking mine out at the time stated in the recipe.
They required more time in the 2nd stage in a hot oven and in hindsight I would have preferred another hour on low heat during the first stage.
Now about that quantity. Something has to be awry here. One pound of chicken wings equated to about 8 wings. The recipe says it serves 4-6 people. Huh? That would be less than 2 apiece and that sadly has to be a misprint.
I ignored the quantity and filled my cooking tray with as many wings as I could which turned out to be approximately 36 and not only was it a perfect fit but the 8 cups of oil covered them perfectly.
The sauce for the wings would have been enough for ten times the amount of wings suggested so I’ve modified it as well; cutting the quantity in half and it was perfect. Three pounds of wings and half the sauce.
That being said I like just a bit drizzled on my wings, if you are a dunker or even a double dunker you might want to stick with the original quantity! Still, a drizzle or a lot, it’s a great sauce. The Za’atar and Urfa Pepper combined with honey are simply a fantastic combination.
This book is filled with great recipes for sausages, pate, homemade bacon, salami and more. It has some more interesting tidbits too; let me tell you Jamie is absolutely a snout to tail enthusiast!
While I am eager to try making the Habanero and Maple Breakfast Sausages I’m going to let the more adventurous of you share with me your experiences with Offal and Head Cheese! If you’re ready to move beyond buying all of your meats pre-cured and pre-cut from the butcher; you must try this book.
From my own experience? Make the bacon. There is nothing finer than home cured bacon and it will set you on a path to want to do more…and more!
PIN IT! ‘Chicken Wings with Honey and Za’atar’
Chicken Wings with Honey and Za'atar
- 36 chicken wings or enough to fill a 10X15" pan
- 1 Tbsp 15 g salt
- 1 ½ tsp 8 g black pepper
- 8 cups 1.9 l Canola oil (use some or all Schmaltz, duck fat or lard)
- 1 cup 473 ml honey
- 2 Tbsp 60 ml white wine vinegar (preferably chardonnay)
- 1 tsp 5 g urfa pepper
- 2 Tbsp 60 g za’atar
- 2 tsp 15 g toasted sesame seeds
- Sea salt
- Sliced chives
- Season the wings with salt and pepper. Bring the fat to 200°F (93°C) over a simmer. Once the fat is rendered, place chicken wings in a large pan and the pour fat over the wings. Cover with tin foil, place in 200°F (93°C) oven, and let simmer for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Cool the wings in an in ice bath to room temperature. 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.)
- Mix the honey, vinegar, urfa and za’atar until combined.
- Roast chicken wings in a 400°F (204°C) oven for 12 minutes or until brown and golden.
- 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.
This looks perfect. Honey and sesame seeds on chicken rarely go wrong. I think I may paraphrase your recipe for myself.
Please do; I do this to share and it’s not recipe anyhow but Jamie’s! 🙂
This looks amazing! A great way to make chicken so its not boring 🙂
I’ve got another one for wings I’ll be doing in a couple of weeks; I forget how much I love those little things and they are so perfect for the season. Of football. 🙂
Love this recipe!
Oh… this is sooooo my kind of food!!! Definitely going to have to get that pepper… hmmmm… running errands later and will be in the same shopping center as our local Savory Spice Shop… hmmm…. coincidence? I think not!!!
No that I am cooking for only two, will definitely have to reduce this recipe – so thanks for the hints and tips Barb!!!
BTW – that shot could definitely be a cover!!!!
Wow Barb! You have outdone yourself 🙂 The photos are mouthwatering and this recipe looks to die for, I am pinning for later!
The sauce is pure heaven for sure and thank you…you know this has been a long work in progress so a compliment warms my heart a LOT! 🙂
I’ve never made bacon — really need to some time. These wings sound fabulous. And the book really interesting. Thanks.
So easy John and once you do; you’ll see. I made mine with maple syrup and bourbon. Oh My.
Wow…these look INCREDIBLE! I just know hubby will love them. After a haitus, I’m back to blogging and excited to get back into my groove. 😉
I was on a chicken wing kick; made my own favorite recipe too. Now have to remember to take photos before I devour them all. Welcome back too!
Cooked in fat – how utterly luscious. And kudos to you for making the adjustments for the lard and for the serving size. Your work makes complete sense to me. The book sounds truly fascinating. Thank you for the introduction. Alla prossima!
Thanks Adri…luscious is the perfect word!
It seems that the spices in my pantry need an update. I’d like to visit that spice store you mentioned. My mouth is watering looking at this chicken!
I’m sorry Holly. I have failed you completely if I have neither mentioned or offered to take you to Savory Spice. It is a wonderful place! I have to go in and be VERY directed or else I could leave with so many bottles I would need a kitchen addition!
When I was younger I didn’t eat chicken wings because I didn’t want to wear the sauce. Can you believe I was that nutty. Then one day I was wearing old clothes and decided to go for it and I haven’t looked back. I would eat way more than 1.43 wings if they looked as good as yours do.
You made me seriously LOL; exactly the way I felt though I had not computed down to a fraction. Thanks for that!