“Restaurant Wings at Home” isn’t just a clever title that promises homemade chicken wings that are just as good as you’ll find in a restaurant. These are, quite literally, restaurant wings you can prepare at home.
In a post-playoffs haze of sadness, I suspected I’d be too dejected to cook for the Super Bowl. So I started exploring restaurant offerings. Among the plethora of options, I noticed one particularly relevant menu from one of my favorite spots: Watertown’s Strip T’s Restaurant. Their lineup of Jewish deli-inspired Super Bowl menu items—everything from corned beef and pastrami to sweet potato knishes and rugelach—knocked down my Patriots sadness a few notches.
We’re lucky that more and more Boston-area restaurants are offering their takes on Jewish specialties during Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah. But the Super Bowl? That’s a different kind of holy day. Lucky for me (and you), a member of Strip T’s talented kitchen team, chef Jared Forman, was nice enough to share one of his recipes included in this well-timed menu. And judging by these tzimmes-flavored chicken wings, he certainly knows how to stick to a theme.
Whenever I get my hands on a restaurant recipe, I’m always nervous that it’s going to require a bunch of hard-to-get ingredients or impossible-to-replicate-at-home restaurant tricks. This recipe is certainly a bit more involved than the usual “bake then toss in sauce” wings recipe, but it’s still approachable and achievable in a home kitchen. (I mean, making chicken-wing confit before browning it in a pan? Genius—and a restaurant technique you can easily recreate at home.)
Strip T’s Tzimmes Chicken Wings
This recipe includes both Chef Forman’s restaurant procedure and the adjustments I made at home.
Step 1: Brine Chicken
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
3 pounds chicken wings
Strip T’s Instructions: In large container, stir together sugar and salt. Add wings, and brine in refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove wings from brine and place in wide pot. Add canola oil to cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 90 minutes. (Wings should be very tender, but not falling apart.) Allow wings to cool in oil for 30 minutes. Remove wings and cool.
Home Kitchen Adjustments: I only made 1½ pounds of wings, so I halved all the ingredients.
Step 2: Make Tzimmes Glaze
16 ounces carrot juice
16 ounces sweet potato juice
16 ounces chicken stock
12 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
6 ounces cider vinegar
4 ounces honey
1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 ounces fresh ginger, grated
Strip T’s Instructions: Add carrot and sweet potato juice, orange juice concentrate, vinegar, honey, chicken stock, chili paste, cinnamon and ground ginger to a large pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until mixture is reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 hour. Stir in ginger while glaze is still hot. Set aside.
Home Kitchen Adjustments: I, like most of you, do not own a juicer. So I stopped by the juice section of the supermarket and found a 32-ounce bottle of carrot and orange juice, which I used extra of to compensate for the sweet potato juice (which, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find in a bottle). Even without the sweet potato juice, the glaze was still sweet, with a flavor combination both fruity and vegetal—certainly reminiscent of tzimmes. I ended up with a considerable amount of leftover glaze (which I used on fish and chicken), but if you don’t anticipate repurposing leftovers, cut down on all of the glaze ingredients.
Step 3: Garnish and Serve
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions
Strip T’s Instructions: Warm 4 ounces of glaze in a sauté pan over low heat. In a separate cast iron pan, sear 8 wings in vegetable oil until the skin is dark and crispy. Place wings into the pan with the glaze and toss until well-coated. Plate and serve wings sprinkled with chopped chives and plenty of wet wipes.
Home Kitchen Adjustments: I consolidated the brown-and-glaze step into just one pan: In 12-inch cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil until shimmering. Add 8 wings and brown until skin is dark and crispy, flipping once during cooking. If preparing more than 8 wings, brown chicken in batches (do not crowd pan). Once wings are browned, turn off heat and spoon some glaze into pan. (If you’ve browned the wings in batches, add all wings back to the pan at this point.) Stir so wings are completely covered with glaze. Serve wings sprinkled with chopped chives and plenty of napkins.