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NHL Diet: Eat Like a Stanley Cup Champ

With the NHL back in swing, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the nutrition program and recipes that fueled the Chicago Blackhawks to victory last season.

Honey-Togarashi Wings

For a Far East twist on the typical wing, Chef Shearer tosses in a mixture of local Michigan honey, rice wine vinegar, ground Szechuan peppercorns, and last but not least, Shichimi Togarashi, a spicy Japanese seasoning blend. “The Togarashi gives the familiar heat while the honey and vinegar play in the realm of sweet and sour,” says Shearer. “The peppercorns add a light citrus essence and tantalizing sensation. All together, it redefines the wing experience."

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh chicken wings
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp + 2 tsp kosher salt
3 qts canola oil
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¾ cup local honey
1 ½ Szechuan peppercorns
2 tbsp Shichimi Togarashi
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ cup scallions, cut on bias for garnish

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Instructions:

1) Place chicken wings in a bowl, toss with ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.

2) While the wings are marinating, in a heavy bottom pot (6qt) add 3 quarts of oil, attach candy or frying thermometer and heat oil to 250°F over medium heat. A countertop fryer can be used for this step as well; follow manufacturers directions for operation.

3) Once the oil has reached 250°, remove the wings from the fridge. Drain off any liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Add the wings to the oil with tongs making sure not to splash hot oil. Check to make sure that wings are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once all of the wings are in the pan, adjust heat to maintain 250°. Cook for 20 minutes stirring twice throughout the cooking process. This first cooking confits the wings, making them very tender. At the conclusion of the 20 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the wings with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Place wings in a container large enough to fit them in a single layer. Place in fridge uncovered overnight.  When oil is cool, clear it of any debris. Cover once cool.

4) The next day, bring oil to 350° over medium heat. While oil is heating mix the wing sauce. In a mixing bowl whisk 2 teaspoons of salt with rice wine vinegar until salt is dissolved. Add honey, Szechuan peppercorns, Shichimi Togarashi, and sesame oil. Whisk to fully incorporate.

5) When oil is hot, remove chicken wings from fridge. They are fully cooked at this point; this second frying is to crisp the skin and heat the wings thoroughly. Carefully add wings to pan, avoiding any splashes of hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes (time will depend on size of wings) or until skin is crispy and golden brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon, toss with sauce, plate, and garnish with chopped scallion.

Note: If you are pressed for time the wings can be cooked the day of from raw in 350° oil. Ensure wings have reached an internal temperature of 165° before serving. Toss with sauce as above.

Serves: 4

Seared Halibut with Kale and Carrot Slaw

A light, healthy dish inspired by the Hawks' stay. 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
1.5 tsp agave nectar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups organic green kale, destemmed and cut very fine
1 organic carrot, peeled and shredded
1 lb wild Alaskan halibut cut into 4 oz portions

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Instructions:  

1) In a bowl, mix apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, shallot, and agave nectar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2) Add kale and shredded carrot to apple cider vinaigrette. Toss and set aside.

3) Heat a heavy bottom saute pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season halibut with salt and black pepper, when pan is hot, sear fish taking care not to crowd the pan. Turn halibut when it's golden brown on first side, about 4 minutes. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to desired doneness.

4) To serve, place kale and carrot slaw on plate, top with seared halibut.

Serves: 4

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