When my husband suggested we throw a Super Bowl party this year, I had a sports flashback on the two (and only two) Super Bowl soirees I had ever attended. Both reminded me of a frat-house party where crushed potato chips, beer and chicken wings were the main attraction -- and while I may be neutral about football, I'm not about food.
"That sounds great, but I am not serving any (expletive) barbecue chicken wings." After all, in the heat of the competition, these savages (otherwise known as my guests) could end up wiping their barbecue-stained fingers all over my couches.
However, try as I might to find another finger food that would make the grade for a Super Bowl Snack -- I came up empty-handed. My reluctant conclusion is that chicken wings are the perfect sports-event munchies, since they can be securely retained in one hand while the other is being madly waved about in the air, accompanied by shouts of "Go Steelers!" (or whoever).
Having never before cooked a chicken wing in my life, I set out to find a recipe I could live with. My answer came in a little book from John Wiley & Sons, titled appropriately, Wings: More Than 50 High-Flying Recipes for America's Favorite Snack, by Debbie Moose.
The beauty of Moose's book is that it takes the reader beyond the barbeque-basted chicken wings of their past and makes one appreciate the marvel of marinades. The world of wings covers the range from the quirky (Quick Caffeinated Wings, page 50) to the fruity (Wings with Fiery Fruit Glaze, page 78) and back to the exotic (Tangy Thai Wings, page 62).
And let's face it -- the best part is that they are easy to make, and take almost no time to prepare. Most of the recipes in the book require only the mixing together of a series of ingredients and marinating the wings for a few hours to overnight. Beginning cooks can choose what looks good and go with Moose's marinade recommendations, while chicken-wing aficionados can get creative and mix and match ingredients, using Moose's recipes as a guideline.
Either way, if you're one of the many Super Bowl sports fans who think chicken wings rule the roost, you won't be disappointed.
Adapted with permission from Wings: More Than 50 High-Flying Recipes for America's Favorite Snack by Debbie Moose (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
¾ cup hot sauce
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped garlic
¼ Teaspoon salt
12 wings, cut in half at joints, wing tips removed and discarded (hint: have the butcher do this for you)
2 Tbs. low-salt or salt-free Cajun seasoning mix
In a small bowl, stir together the hot sauce, oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
Next, place the wings in a resealable plastic bag and pour the hot sauce mixture in. Shake to cover the wings and refrigerate from 2 hours to overnight. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees and cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil; set aside. Remove the wings from the marinade. Shake off any extra marinade, place the wings in a bowl and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Toss the wings to coat evenly. Place the wings on the baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until done.
Karen Leland is author of the new book Time Management In An Instant (Career Press) and the national Work-Life Balance Columnist for examiner.com. She is currently hard at work on a food memoir/cookbook tilted Pardon My Pink Pate. To contact her, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org