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Author Notes: This recipe is a tribute to FC Barcelona, the best football team in the world. That would be the real football, the game you actually play with your feet. In soccer the ball is actually picked up and thrown more often than it’s kicked in American football. And there is no such thing as half a goal. I’m using the entire wing---trimming the wing tips for “another use” earns you a red card. I crafted this for cooking in an earthenware cazuela. They are inexpensive but you have to heat them up slowly, preferably with a flame tamer. If you don’t have these you can use a cast iron skillet for the frying step, but I swear by the virtues of earthenware cooking. As an extra accompaniment I’m including cantimpalitos, a small link sausage which I buy from La Espanola, the premier American manufacturer of regional style Spanish sausages. They recommend poaching them in beer. This is football, right? Visca Barça!! —pierino
- 12-16 chicken wings
- 1 cup fine unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup superfine flour (Wondra)
- 2 tablespoons pimenton ahumado (smoked Spanish “paprika”)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Crème fraiche
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 6 ounces Valdeon or Cabrales cheese
- Up to five garlic cloves cut into slivers
- Extra virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred)
- Piri Piri (Portuguese hot sauce) or Tabasco
- Carrot sticks
- 2 Red bell peppers
- Cantimpalitos (16 oz package), $8.60 www.donajuana.com
- European style beer, Stella or Moretti etc.
- Make the dressing. Add crème fraiche (or sour cream) into the bowl of a small food processor. Crumble in the cheese. Add the chopped chives and pulse. Gradually add the buttermilk until you are satisfied with texture it should resemble ranch dressing. Chill in the refrigerator while you are cooking the wings.
- L. Messi 15” PT
- Cut the tops from your peppers, spoon out the seeds. Cut out the veins and cut into narrow strips. Cut carrots into sticks. The colors are intended to symbolize the Catalan flag.
- Set up your fry station. In a pie pan combine the flour with the pimenton. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them. In another pie pan put out the bread crumbs.
- Heat about ½ inch of oil in a cazuela until it begins to shimmer. Dredge the wings first in the flour and pimenton mix, dip in the egg bath and finally in the bread crumbs. Without crowding the casserole fry up the wings in batches along with garlic.
- Xavy 40” PT
- Meanwhile heat up beer in another cazuela (or non-reactive pan) and poach the cantimpalitos which you’ve separated into individual links.
- When the wings are cooked and crispy golden hit the wings with a dash of piri piri (to your taste) and drain on a rack or paper towel. Season with fleur de sel.
- Present with the carrots and four pepper strips (the number of stripes on the flag) per plate. Sausages and sauce to the side. Napkins.
- L. Messi 90” ST
- Notes to cook: Valdeon and Cabrales are very strong cheeses, but Barça is a team built on strength and skill. Should you happen to see cantimpalitos on a restaurant menu the odds are 95% that they were packed at the La Espanola plant in Harbor City. The Spanish don’t mind if the garlic gets a little overbrowned. It’s there to flavor the oil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken Wings