La Brea Tar Pit Wings

La Brea Tar Pit Wings make perfect finger food. They are easy to prepare. You will want to make them often.
La Brea Tar Pit Wings
La Brea Tar Pit Wings
La Brea Tar Pit Wings

La Brea Tar Pit Wings make perfect finger food. They are easy to prepare. You will want to make them often.

I have lived in Los Angeles most of my life. When you grow up in LA, invariably, you get to go on a field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits. I went when I was a little girl and took my son, too. I enjoyed it both times. It’s a very interesting place, and there is always more to see. For example, the Page Museum, part of the park, has skeletons of creatures who unwittingly died in the tar. So you owe yourself a trip to the museum to see the Sabertooth Tiger, the Mastadon, the Dire Wolf, and so many more.

La Brea Tar Pits

“La Brea Tar Pits is an active paleontological research site in urban Los Angeles. Hancock Park was formed around a group of tar pits where natural asphalt (also called asphaltum, bitumen, pitch, or tar; brea in Spanish) has seeped up from the ground for tens of thousands of years. Over many centuries, the tar preserved the bones of trapped animals. The George C. Page Museum is dedicated to researching the tar pits and displaying specimens from the animals that died there. La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark.” ~ Wikipedia

How Did La Brea Tar Pits Wings get their name?

La Brea Tar Pits. (2022, September 16). In Wikipedia.

Gas bubble slowly emerging at La Brea Tar Pits

Anyone who has ever visited the La Brea Tar Pits will understand how these wings got their name. According to The Washington Post, the original recipe comes Metta Miller, from Boston.

Long cooking makes these wings dark and sticky, just like the tar at the pits. But, you will have a great time eating these dark, sticky wings and licking your fingers as you do.

You could even use turkey wings for this – extra large wings are even better.

How to Cook the Wings

The best way to cook these wings is using a foil roasting pan. Even if you line your sheet pan with foil, the liquid will get underneath and will become a burned, sticky mess. Don’t do it! I learned the hard way -use foil! You will find these wings are very similar to my Chinese New Year Wings, only a lot easier.

Serving the Wings

These wings are very tasty. It’s recommended to serve about a half pound per person, but understand your guests will probably want more. Make extra wings and save the leftovers. Be sure and offer a bowl for bones and plenty of napkins. If you want to be fancy, you can offer bowls for lemon water to wash fingers.

La Brea Tar Pit Wings

La Brea Tar Pit Wings

La Brea Tar Pit Wings make perfect finger food. They are easy to prepare. You will want to make them often.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Kosher
Difficulty: Easy
Newsletter: 2022-12-31
Allergen: Soy
Servings (slide to adjust): 4
Calories per serving: 465kcal


Foil Roaster Pan


  • 2 pounds Chicken wings, split at joint and wing tips removed (save for soup)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.


  • Mise en place
    La Brea Tar Pit Wings
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup dry red wine, 1/4 cup Sugar, 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    Mix the soy sauce, wine, sugar and ginger in a bowl.
    La Brea Tar Pit Wings
  • 2 pounds Chicken wings
    Arrange the wings in a foil roasting pan in one layer. Pour the sauce over the wings and put the wings in the oven.
    La Brea Tar Pit Wings
  • Set the oven to 400 °F and cook the wings for 30 minutes. Turn the wings and cook them for another hour. Poke the largest one with an instant-read thermometer. They are done at 165 °F.
  • Transfer the wings to a platter. Impress your guests and sprinkle gold flakes on the wings. Be sure to provide a bowl for bones and plenty of napkins for wiping fingers.
    La Brea Tar Pit Wings


Serving: 290gCalories: 465kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 66gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 208mgSodium: 2193mgPotassium: 550mgFiber: 0gSugar: 13g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!
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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

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