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By the Book: Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings

December 27th 10:12am, 2011

122311_BytheBook_coverWelcome to By the Book, a new weekly online column in which we try our hand at recipes from some of the many amazing cookbooks that come across our desks. We thumb through, pick a dish and then get cooking – revealing the recipe we chose and the results of our culinary journey. Scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a copy of the featured book and to see last week’s By the Book winner.

The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends is the second book for Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. The authors, who are the respective host and producer of public radio show The Splendid Weekend, have dedicated this book to the “two days a week when the pressure is off [and] time becomes your ally.”

For myself and my fiancé, the weekends mean indulging in trashy TV and, well, food. While weekdays are usually filled with fruits, veggies, whole grains and juicing, Saturday and Sunday signal pizza, brownies and beer. As such, I opted to make the Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings in hopes that I didn’t betray our weekend mantra. The intro to the recipe said kids “wolf down” these chicken wings, so I figured they’d be well received by my finicky meat-and-potatoes man.

When I held open the book to show him the recipe with a “Doesn’t this recipe look delicious?” he blinked a couple times and asked, “Wait, mahogany … that’s wood right? Does that taste good?”


After a quick trip to the supermarket for plum sauce and sherry, I got started on the prep. The first half of the recipe couldn’t have been easier: blend, rinse, pierce, bag. Now to wait 12 to 48 hours to let this wonderfully aromatic marinade work its magic.

The next day I had almost forgotten that I needed to work chicken wings into the day’s schedule, so I revisited the recipe to see how much this was going to cut into my day. The two hours of rather hand-on baking time made me cringe slightly, as suddenly I wasn’t in the mood to put in the effort. After foiling my half sheet and finding a suitable rack, I laid my little bathing beauties on the rack and luckily they fit perfectly with no overlap. The directions called for an hour and a half of roasting punctuated by regular turning and basting. I’ll be honest: This got really old really quickly. And when it came to the halfway point and it was time to pierce, I found myself taking my aggression out on the wings: I delicately pierced the first few, but by the last row, I was wielding the knife like a serial killer, hacking with reckless abandon. When it was time to jack up the heat, my cloud of annoyance started to dissipate, because in less than an hour, I’d be eating. Also, the house had begun to fill with the most amazing scents of garlic and Asian spices.


According to the cookbook, the wings would take 15 to 20 minutes at 450 to crisp. After 6 minutes, my wings had started to burn. After a quick (and frantic) flip, I cooked them another 4 minutes. They were definitely done. A note to anyone trying out this recipe: Keep an eye on your oven during this step. I suspect I basted a bit longer than I should have. The ladies say to stop basting a good 30 minutes before roasting time is over. Woops.

My browned beauties were finally done – a mere 20 hours after I had begun the process – and they looked delicious. They were tasty and juicy, though stickier than I would have liked (but this was probably my fault). The final verdict: This recipe was far more involved than I’d like for any chicken wing recipe, especially if I’m making them for kids. But if you have the time and energy, boy are they tasty.


Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings

4 to 6 Servings

½ cup hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Chinese plum sauce
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup cider vinegar
6 large garlic cloves
3¼ to 4 lbs. chicken wings, rinsed and pierced in several places with a paring knife

• In a blender or food processor, purée the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, plum sauce, sherry, cider vinegar and garlic. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for basting the wings. Combine the remaining mixture with the chicken wings in large plastic bags and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours.
• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large, shallow baking pan (a half-sheet pan is ideal) with foil. Set a large cake rack inside the pan. Arrange the wings on the rack, trying not to stack them so they can all caramelize evenly.
• Roast the chicken for 1¼ to 1½ hours, turning the wings often and basting them with the reserved marinade until the last 30 minutes of cooking. Halfway through the roasting, pierce each wing several times with a knife to release some of its fat and help it crisp. The wings are cooked when they are easily pierced with a knife. If in doubt, roast longer.
• Give the wings a final crisping by raising the heat to 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them so they are a rich red-brown on all sides. Pile the wings on a platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The wings reheat well in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Care to meet Ms. Kasper, herself? Join us on Friday, Feb. 24, as the host and producer of The Splendid Table returns to St. Louis to discuss her new cookbook as part of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series. For more information and how you can nab tickets to this awesome event, click here.

For a chance to win a copy of The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends, tell us what your favorite weekend cooking project and why in the comments section below.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Karen Snodgrass whose recommendation for pairing The Civil Life’s Scottish Ale with Brussels sprouts has won her a free copy of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. Karen, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew regarding your prize!

By Kylah Brown

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9 Responses to “By the Book: Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings”

  1. Hilary Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I love making soups and chili on the weekend, letting them simmer all day. After sitting down for a bowl, I fill container after container for the freezer, and enjoy them for weeks to come.

  2. Kathy Ziegenmier Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    This time of year I like to make big pots of soup/stews so we will have plenty of leftovers during the week. I love Splendid Table and subsribe to their podcasts.

  3. Gwen Books Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I like to cook things that take time and infuse the air with aromas that make you want the food NOW. By the time we eat, appetites, taste buds and pleasure receptors are at their highest possible levels. Some weekends it’s a big pot of chili, other times it’s spaghetti sauce. Last week end it was white mostaccioli with red velvet brownies for dessert. But I can tell you, this Sunday it will be the Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings as described above. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Emily Barklage Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Favorite weekend cookiing project is more of a baking project … getting tons of ingredients and making a bunch of different cookies.

  5. julie ridlon Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Visiting a couple of farmer’s markets and making pots of soup or salad makings, taking strawberries & rhubarb in that very short time when they run concurrently and making goo with Chambord, orange zest, vanilla bean, raspberry paste and ever so slightly cooked rhubarb and raw strawberries….then making leaf lard dough and hand held fried pies. Best deal ever is shopping at Scharfs’ farm on Friday then having them hot at Soulard for them on Sat. morning. They don’t get much of a chance to cook during the season,,,,and are always appreciative.

  6. Kimberly Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    My favorite weekend cooking project would either have to be making tons and tons of pierogis with my hubby, using his tried and true pierogi recipe or canning preserves with him as well … just depends on what’s in season as to what we decide to make!

  7. Shannon Says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Favorite weekend cooking project is baking bread. It takes a few hours to wait for the dough to rise, so you can relax in the meantime. Fresh baked bread for breakfast is definitely worth the wait.

  8. Stephanie Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    My favorite weekend cooking project is to bake seasonal, really pretty, very labor-intensive cupcakes. The end result is always so awesome, and even better to see everyone’s reactions!

  9. Heather Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    On weekends, I like tackling anything that takes longer than about 30 minutes to make. Lately I’ve been on a quest for Hubster approved chili and I think I’m getting close! (Details, which make all of this make more sense, on my blog – http://www.modernmealsfortwo.com)

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