I am live tweeting during my Chengdu episode this coming Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CST. Feel free to join in the fun on @andrewzimmern and use the hash #bizarrefoods to track the action. I will be eating a huge bowl of something yummy and Chinese that night—probably from Grand Szechuan in Bloomington or Teahouse in Plymouth. If you can’t order in, make these spicy sweet glazy addictive wings and be a hero in your own house. I ALWAYS make a double batch of these, hard to keep ‘em around.
One Pot Chinese Chicken Wings with Master Sauce
32 very large chicken drummies, or 16 large two-joint segments work well
Half cup sake
Third cup water
6 large thin slices fresh ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese yellow rock sugar or light brown sugar
5 whole dried hot chilies, one of them should be crushed, the rest left whole or it gets too spicy
2T oyster sauce
2T hoisin sauce
2 cloves star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Place a 14-inch, no stick sauté pan over high heat.
Add the chicken, skin down, and ‘dry-sear’ to lightly brown the chicken on one side.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a strong simmer.
Cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Uncover, and simmer slowly until sauce is glazy and the consistency of syrup.
Toss frequently to coat wings as sauce reduces.
Serve, garnishing with thinly sliced scallions.
If you believe everything you see on TMZ, and if this is in fact true, I am shocked. Say it isn’t so, Ina!?!?!? Why would she turn down this offer? Now I gotta tell ya, I have to say ‘no’ to about 30 times the amount of stuff I can ‘yes’ to. There are friends of mine I used to see each week that now I only see twice a year. Schedules are a bitch, but you gotta say yes to Make-a-Wish. I had the honor of spending a day with a young man whose Make-a-Wish wish was to hang with me for a day, and I jumped at the chance. We still stay in touch and this kid changed my life, doing more for me than I ever could for him. I would tell Ina, who is a great lady by the way, to juggle schedules to make the time because it’s the best organization in the world and they will handle all the logistics.
What of this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards? Wow, what a great event this year is going to be. Yes, you can buy tickets from jamesbeard.org and if you love food you should be a member and celebrate this great organization the other 362 days a year. Isaac Becker and Lenny Russo are finalists once again in the regional awards for chefs, and I am rooting for both of them. Congrats to all the finalists all over the country. It’s quite the big deal. So let’s have some hot stove league discussion about the state of Minnesota. Who would be your five candidates if our state were its own region? Lets make it fun and say you can’t vote for previous winners (Alma’s Alex Roberts and La Belle Vie’s Tim McKee), that frees up two spots on your roster. I also am curious about what restaurant opened in the last year would be your pic for best new restaurant in Minnesota? What about best wine list and best service?
I was in Portland, Maine, last week visiting my dad, and I know tons of Minnesotans are out there every summer. This trip I spent time at Rabelais Bookstore (one of my faves, it only sells food and cookbooks) and ate at Hugos, 555, Fore Street, Standard Bakery, and Two Fat Cats Bakery, and I ate steamers at the counter at Gilberts Chowder House (no one else had ‘em!). The food was amazing everywhere, faultless . . . if you are going to Portland, Maine, anytime soon book a table now . . . seriously. Best new joints in town are the Corner Room (Italian rustic fare) and Petite Jacqueline (killer bistro)—both are superb. They take their food seriously in Portland, Maine.