I had never heard of Wing Bowl until this morning. Apparently today is Wing Bowl 19, the traditional wing-driven mayhem that kicks off Super Bowl weekend. It’s an annual Philadelphia tradition – watch a play by play of participants winging it at nbcphiladelphia.com. (Warning: if you’re eating your breakfast, there are some pretty nasty visuals here.) If you’re planning to follow the Steelers and Packers this weekend, you’ll need some wings of your own to set out in your own personal wing bowl on the coffee table in front of the couch. My Super Bowl XLV prediction: you’ll be very well fed.
As any chicken wing aficionado will tell you – the best wings don’t come from a box. Here are some chicken wing cooking tips, and a round-up of some of our favorite Super Bowl snacks. Here are a few tips for first-timers:
* If you buy whole chicken wings, snip off the wing tips at the joint; the pointy ends have hardly anything on them. If you like, set them aside for stock.
* When roasting, spread your wings out in a single layer and make sure you don’t crowd the pan; a little space in between will allow them to caramelize, rather than steam.
* Lining your pan with foil or a silpat baking mat will make your life infinitely easier when it’s time to do dishes.
* Because most sauces are sweet and burn quickly, it’s a good idea to roast the wings first, tossing them with sauce toward the end. (For extra-saucy wings, make extra and reserve some to toss your wings with again after they’ve finished cooking.)
* For extra-crisp, caramelized wings, run them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time (watch them carefully!).
* If you’re looking for more meat and less skin, try skinned chicken drumsticks in place of the wings – they’re bigger, of course, but also meatier.
If you’re after flavor (and are a fan of honey and ginger), try Marinated Chicken Wings.
If you’re a fan of the exotic, try Curried Chutney Chicken Wings.
And here’s a round-up of 5 wing recipes for your Super Bowl Party. Make sure you stock up on napkins!