The big game day is this Sunday, and football fans are gearing up. For most, that means tasty snacks – you know, game-day grub. Tasty morsels that are easy to eat while watching the game and cheering on your favorite team. Your favorites might be nachos, piled high with goodies, or spicy hot chili. My favorite, however, are wings – hot and spicy and gooey, served with a cooling blue-cheese dip (and don’t forget the crudités just so you can add a bit of veggies to the menu!)
I remember many years ago as a new wife when I was not at all interested in watching football on TV, unlike my husband, who was glued to the tube whenever a game was playing. I actually loved football, but I wanted to watch it in person. I loved going to our football games in college, especially when we were playing our rival teams. It was an exciting event shared with friends. Normally it was chilly, if not down-right cold, so we would have brought along some warming liquid in a little flask – which also helped to make the game more fun.
Watching a game on TV, when I had no personal affiliation with the teams playing, just didn’t do it for me. What did, however, were the stores that were virtually empty on game day. A great time to go shopping!
Over the years I have developed favorite teams, and have experienced many enjoyable Superbowl gatherings with friends and colleagues. Lately, since we have started the blog and cookbook development, I have become interested as much with the variety of game-day food that folks bring to share. We are always looking for new ideas for the blog, and it is just plain interesting to observe the food trends that are popular at the moment.
So, these wings are not a revolutionary new idea – wings have been associated with game-day fare for years. They are, however, mighty tasty and easy to make. I added orange marmalade to give them a hint of citrus, and actually used homemade blood orange marmalade which made them awesome, but you can pick up a jar of marmalade in your local supermarket. They take some time to whip up, but most of that time they are in the oven doing their own thing without your assistance. Even if you aren’t participating in a Superbowl party this year, make a batch for your family. They will thank you, and if you’re lucky you might even have a few left over after the game to have for lunch on Monday.
Cheers, and may the best team win!
Hot and Sweet Wings
4 pound bag wings, thawed
Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup hot sauce*
1 9-ounce jar orange marmalade (recipe below)
Season thawed wing pieces with cayenne, salt and pepper. Place on broiler pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, turning mid-way.
While they are baking, combine the hot sauce and marmalade in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a very large, ovenproof skillet. Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
When wings have baked for 45 minutes, remove them from the broiler pan and add them to the sauce, stirring to coat. Bake them covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 30 minutes more. Remove from pan and serve with gluten-free blue cheese dressing and crudités.
*Either red hot cayenne pepper sauce, or red hot chili sauce like Sriracha, depending on your taste preference. I sometimes use a combination of the two.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Blood Orange Marmalade
3 large blood oranges
2 large lemons
3 cups water
Sugar – 1 cup for each cup of fruit mixture
2 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
Wash oranges and lemons well. Peel one blood orange and cut into1/2-inch chunks. For the rest of the oranges and lemons, slice the unpeeled fruit in half lengthwise, then cut into very thin half-moon slices, ensuring you remove and discard all seeds.
Place fruit in stainless pan. Add 3 cups water and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 1 to 2 hours in a cool place.
Return pan to medium-high heat and boil the mixture for 1 hour. Measure the mixture, and add 1 cup sugar for each cup of the fruit mixture. Stir until sugar is incorporated, then stir in the sliced chili peppers. Bring mixture to a boil, and boil, stirring constantly (with a long spoon to avoid getting splattered with the hot mixture) for about 20 minutes, which will yield a slightly runny mixture. If you want it thicker, boil it a little longer.
(Syrup will become thick when mixture reaches 210 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, and will thicken further as it cools. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, put a small amount of the liquid in a spoon, cool it for a few seconds, then hold the spoon on its side and let the liquid drop back into the pan. When the syrup is thick enough, two drops will combine into one and fall as a single drop. This is called “sheeting,” and indicates that the liquid has formed the jelly stage.)
Remove from heat and cool before pouring into sterilized jars. The marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Note: If you want to be able to store jars for a longer period of time, sterilize jelly jars and the lids and rings in boiling water. Fill jars while still hot, then place sterilized lids and rings on jars and hand tighten. In a canning kettle, or large pot with rack on the bottom, boil in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from boiling water – then will seal as they cool. Listen for the “pop” when the lid seals. When the jar is sealed properly, there will be no ‘give’ when you push down on the lid after the jar is cool. If the lid is tight with no give, the jar is sealed and safe to store in a cupboard for up to a year.
This will make four 1/2 pint jars.