The new face of wings

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Commentary by Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

If you’re planning to tailgate with people younger than 40, and you ask them what they would like to eat, they will invariably say Buffalo wings.  That’s because they went to school in the 90’s when everyone discovered those famous wings from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo with Frank’s Red Hot sauce and butter. Today, however, wings are evolving.

At first wings were reasonably hot, and with ranch dip were palatable for even the old folks. But like all things we Americans do, the spice heat levels progressed from hot to hotter. Some people now demand wings and other foods that will make your eyes water, your ears ring and your lips go numb. Their faces turn red and they sweat profusely. We don’t want to deal with that at a tailgate.

Our suggestion for serving oven-baked wings at your tailgate is to avoid the real hot stuff and let each tailgater select his own spice. Frank’s has several great new sauces that will turn heads and satisfy every tailgater  at your party. These are Rajili Sweet Ginger Sauce, Slammin’ Sriracha Chili Sauce, Spicy Sweet & Sour Sauce and Stingin’ Honey Garlic Sauce. When tailgaters see this array of neat sauces they feel the food is extra special.

Tailgate wings

Ingredients:

10 chicken wings with tips removed

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce

1 squeeze bottle each of Rajili Sweet Ginger Sauce, Slammin’ Sriracha Chili Sauce, Spicy Sweet & Sour Sauce, and Stingin’ Honey Garlic Sauce

1 bottle of good ranch salad dressing for squirting onto wing plates

6 Celery stalks

Preparation:

The night before – Clean the wings, then place them into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and baking powder. Use your hands to mix the wings and seasonings. The powder is to change the pH level of the wings so they’ll brown. It’s not to make a coating, so rub it in. Bake on a rack over parchment in a baking pan for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to render some of the fat and reduce the moisture. Then raise the temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 40 minutes or until the wings are brown. Let the wings cool before wrapping in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. Clean the celery and cut into three shorter pieces each. Place celery into a sealable bag or container and refrigerate overnight.

On game day – Place the foil pack of wings onto your grill and open the top to let moisture out. If you want, you can place wings right on the grill for more browning. When the wings are warmed place a serving into a stainless bowl for saucing and serving. Have each guest choose their own sauce from the five bottles. Have celery and ranch dressing for each to add to their plate. You’ll please each of your guests and impress onlookers. This recipe serves four.


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