Cooking Chickpeas in Wine?

An astute 52er was cooking lentils recently and decided to deviate from the recipe by following Chef Judy Roger's technique of cooking lentils in wine. So I am preping chickpeas for a few 52 recipes and i'm wondering about cooking some in wine. Has anyone tried that? Does the 'no-acid til beans have been cooked' rule for dry beans- not include dal/lentiils? Thx much!

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9 Comments

Greenstuff January 17, 2016
True. Though even Boston, home to some pretty acidic water, treats it so that it averages 9.3 as well. (Untreated water from Boston's Quabbin is about 6.8.)
 
LE B. January 17, 2016
After tasting the chickpeas again, and the beluga lentils, both cooked with wine and stock, they're not as bad as I originally thought. But the one thing to caution you: I wasn't measuring when i made them; my mistake was just dumping some wine on them and then adding water as they began to cook. But the wine seemed to stay in the legumes and not really cook out/get mellow.So i kept adding stock to try to cook out that raw wine taste, and I was somewhat successful.
 
702551 January 17, 2016
That is not how the Judy Rodgers recipe instructs. Her recipe says to combine 1 cup of wine and 1 cup of water/stock, and to continue adding water/stock as the cooking proceeds. Thus, her wine liquid is already diluted from the start. It is not as acidic as just wine.
 
Greenstuff January 17, 2016
Oh absolutely, cv. The Judy Rogers recipe is dilute from the start, one of the reasons it seems feasible.
 
702551 January 17, 2016
On top of the dilution is the fact that Zuni Cafe is located in San Francisco and uses Hetch Hetchy water from the SFPUC.

Hetch Hetchy water is particularly alkaline (approx. pH 9.3) and contributes to the neutrality of Rodgers' cooking liquid.

If you live on the SF Peninsula (415 & 650 area codes), you do not need to add baking soda to your bean cooking water. Beans cook superbly in ordinary tap water here.
 
Greenstuff January 16, 2016
Since lentils cook a lot faster than dried beans and chickpeas, they're be less susceptible to a little acid. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to give it a go. In fact, I might try it myself.
 
LE B. January 17, 2016
hi chris, i tried cooking kala chickpeas in red wine and chicken stock. I hoped these might finally make chickpeas appealing to me. Not. Darn.Still mealy imo(and they were new bag.) So i'm on to beluga lentils as we speak.
 
Greenstuff January 17, 2016
I've been pondering this idea, and found an interesting note in Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. He notes that a little acid can help long-cooked beans keep their structure rather than turning to mush. He was referring to the molasses and tomatoes in Boston baked beans rather than to wine and chickpeas, but it was food for thought. In the end, I decided I'd prefer the technique with lentils anyway and decided not to waste a bottle of wine on the chickpeas. From your experience, it sounds like the right call.
 
Jona @. January 16, 2016
I would guess you soak the chickpeas in water for a few hours before cooking them, otherwise it would just take too long. The idea of cooking them in wine is very interesting, however a bit unconventional. Let us know how it goes :)
 
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