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Chefs at Home: Todd Humphries and Kitchen Door

Chefs at Home: Todd Humphries and Kitchen Door

From the Recipe series: Napa Valley Chefs at Home series

When Kitchen Door at the Oxbow Public Market reopened for take-out, there was rejoicing for those who had to forgo its famous chicken wings, pho and other specialties during the shelter-at-home restrictions.

“We’re bringing back dishes that our customers love so much and having a little fun while doing so,” said Todd Humphries, chef/owner of Kitchen Door.

“We took some time to reset and to figure out how best to offer our menu for take away orders,” said Tim Seberson, general manager and managing partner. “Since online ordering is new for Kitchen Door, we wanted our customers to have a seamless experience ordering their favorite dishes and locally-sourced pantry items. For us, utilizing local and seasonal ingredients not only creates the most flavorful dishes, but also allows us to support local farms and purveyors that are so essential to a thriving community.”

As they finalize plans to reopen for in-house dining and service on the patio at the market, they will continue to offer take-out. Details and menus can be found at

“Food brings people together in meaningful ways, which is especially important these days,” Humphries said. “When we moved from Martini House to Kitchen Door in 2011, it was to consciously bring family-friendly, everyday dining to the masses, and we are continuing that tradition with our new take-away selections.”

Humphries shared his recipe for the popular wings, which you can also find to-go.

“At Kitchen Door, we cook our brined chicken wings in rotisserie baskets over mesquite to cook them through,” he said. “Then, we finish the wings in cast iron pans in our pizza oven while glazing them with our house-made teriyaki sauce. For home, we suggest that you could cook your wings over a mesquite fire on your grill or roast in a pan in your oven until browned and cooked through.”

Kitchen Door Chicken Wings

1 gallon brine room temperature (see below)

Cooking oil to lightly coat wings

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce, see below

1 Tbsp. Korean chili flakes

1 Tbsp. toasted Sesame seeds

1 cup scallions, sliced

Sriracha mayonnaise, see below


Cover chicken wings with chilled brine in a container and place in the fridge. Brine for six hours.

After six hours drain the chicken and pat dry on a tray.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the wings with oil in a bowl.

Place wings in 12-inch sauté pan and roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning after 15 min, so they brown evenly.

At this point, check wings to see if they are cooked. Remove pan to a burner on your cooktop. Turn burner on medium high heat. Add chili flakes and teriyaki sauce to pan. Let them glaze stirring or shaking pan for approximately one minute, so sauce is reduced. Be careful as the sugar will burn if left too long on flame.

Remove wings from pan to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds, scallions and a drizzle of sriracha mayonnaise.

Brine for chicken wings

1 gallon water

3.3 ounces salt or 2/3 cup kosher salt

3.2 ounces sugar or scant 2/3 cup sugar

5 pieces whole star anise

½ piece cinnamon stick

1 Tbsp. coriander seeds

Combine the spices in a small sauté pan and over low heat toast the spices for 3 minutes until fragrant.

In a pot, combine water, salt, sugar and spices and bring to just a simmer to dissolve salt and sugar.

Remove pot from heat and let cool. When cool, strain out spices. Can be stored at room temperature for a few days.

Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free

1 ¾ cup light brown sugar

1 Tbsp ginger, finely minced

1 Tbsp garlic, finely minced

1 tsp sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and over medium heat stir until sugar is just dissolved.

Remove from heat and store in your fridge.

Sriracha Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

1 to 2 Tbsp sriracha

Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.

Satisfy your cravings

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Features Editor

Sasha Paulsen has been features editor at the Napa Valley Register since 1999. A graduate of Napa High School, she studied English at UC Berkeley and St. Mary's College and earned a Masters in Journalism from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

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