Super Bowl Sunday means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, it's the bittersweet finale to football season. For a lucky few, it’s a chance to watch your team punt, pass, and play-action its way to victory. For ad execs, it's that special day people don't actually hate your commercials.
But for almost everyone, non-sports fans included, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the great annual excuses for epic, marathon snacking. And what spread would be complete without some variation of the mighty chicken wing? To prep for game day, we’ve gathered a few recipes that not only fill the requisite wing slot in your snacking line-up, they add a little variety to the menu. (Making homemade wings might seem like borrowing trouble when they’re so very orderable—but remember, it’s Game Day. Why subject yourself to the mercy of delivery?) Healthier, fancier, sloppier—whatever your wing fancy, here’s a collection of our favorite revamped wings, just in time for kickoff. (Go Niners).
Football image via Shutterstock
We’ll start with a classic: Buffalo wings. This is a purist’s recipe, and relatively simple at that—freshly fried wings tossed in a butter-Tabasco sauce, served alongside carrots and celery (a wink at health? we’re still not sure why this works), dipped in bleu cheese sauce. No time to make homemade sauce? Buy some—you’ve already made the wings, and this gives you time to paint your face team colors.
This recipe honors the flavor combination of classic Buffalo wings, but trades the deep-fry for a broil. By giving chicken wings a 2 to 12 hour hot-sauce-and-buttermilk bath, you get a permeated flavor and tenderness. Then just stick them under a hot broiler, turn once, and cook to crispy golden brown awesomeness. A final coating in hot sauce and butter loses some of the “health” advantage, but based on the exquisite chemistry of hot sauce and butter, it seems worth it.
Here we’re getting away from Buffalo territory and getting closer to an Asian-style chicken wing, though this recipe throws the whole “category” thing off with the addition of balsamic vinegar. Olive oil and baking make for a healthy start, followed by a simple glaze of soy sauce, balsamic, and just a tablespoon of butter. Don’t worry, you’ll still feel satisfied—the umami in the soy sauce will give these wings a je ne sais quoi meatiness, and you’ll look like a genius.
Hot Hot Hot
This legit Asian wings recipe comes courtesy of Chef Danny Bowien, who recently brought his San Francisco success, Mission Chinese, to a very grateful New York City. The recipe is a little more labor intensive (Bowien recommends poaching, freezing, and then deep-frying) but there’s payoff. Crispy skin, and, as indicated, “explosive” chili flavor. A recipe for heat fanatics. Just don’t try to wash it down with beer.
So what if it’s below zero outside? Grilling and football are a time-honored tradition. And those of you brave enough to weather the cold will be duly (and quickly) rewarded with these stand-out wings. It’s the same principle as the classic recipe—cook, coat, devour—except the wings are grilled before going for a dip in the sauce of your choice. The Spicy Peanut and Scallion-Jalapeno sauces would probably complement that nice grill char, but it’s never a bad idea to go with a classic on Game Day.