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While the New Year ushers in thoughts of renewed resolutions, changes big and small, and promises of fresh starts, it also culminates in a season of something else: football. To celebrate this football-focused month, FN Dish is bringing you weekly roundups of your favorite tailgate-ready munchies like juicy chicken wings, deliciously salty chips and dips, hearty sliders, decadent chocolate brownies and others to help you host the ultimate big-game bash every weekend. Check back each Friday in January for a complete menu of must-try recipes, plus simple entertaining tips and more winning ideas that are sure to score touchdowns with your friends and family.
The star dish at many tailgates, chicken wings are simple-to-make, blank canvases that are just waiting to be coated with flavor. Hot out of the oven or straight from the fryer, they can be tossed with any number of sweet and spicy sauces, glazes or rubs depending on your tastes and what ingredients you have on hand. Instead of relying on bags of frozen wings for a quick-fix meal or calling up your local wing joint for delivery, cook up can-do recipes to help you turn out restaurant-style chicken wings with ease.
For the ultimate buffalo-style wing, look no further than Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine, a top-rated recipe made with just five everyday ingredients. The key to his recipe is his creative cooking technique. Instead of deep-frying the wings, he first steams them, then roasts them at a high temperature until the skin is a rich golden-brown color. A quick dip in a buttery pool of hot sauce and garlic gives these tender, succulent bites their famed bright color, shiny gloss and tried-and-true buffalo taste.
If you’re looking to put a creative spin on classic wings, try Tyler’s Crisp Chicken Wings With Chili-Lime Butter, a 30-minute recipe made with Thai red curry paste and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or Paula’s five-star recipe for Uncle Bubba’s Wings (pictured right) from Food Network Magazine. She marinates the wings in a no-fail marinade of hot sauce, cayenne pepper and Cajun seasoning, then fries them until they’re crispy on the outside with hot, moist meat inside. On the side, Paula offers an Asian-style dipping sauce made with just Asian chili and soy sauces in addition to traditional buffalo sauce. Set up a platter of piping-hot wings and let your guests help themselves to whichever sauce they prefer. Since the wings need to chill in the marinade for a full 24 hours, be sure to allow extra preparation time when making Paula’s recipe.
No matter which wings you cook up for your game-watching get-together, these tried-and-true crowd-pleasers can be served as a hearty appetizer or the main dish of your tailgate spread. Just make sure you have on hand plenty of napkins because these eat-with-your-hands beauties lend themselves well to a finger-licking good time.