I love January. Yes, I said it. Even though we have snow on the ground and its freezing outside, I love it. But, my love is not for the weather, it’s because there is so much football. Yes yes, I know the football season starts in September and I have 4 months of it, you’d think I’d be over it. But, the best games come in January. The college bowl games, the NFL playoffs, and of course the Super Bowl. (I know it’s in February this year but cut me some slack.) My football infatuation comes from being an only child I think. My poor football loving father had only one child, me. When I was born, he was determined to make me love football, no matter what gender I turned out to be. Specifically, we are Florida State Seminole fans, as we are both alumni, but I married a man with a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the Green Bay Packers. If you follow college football at all, you’ll know that I am an extremely happy Seminoles fan this year! And, although Green Bay lost in the playoffs we are still going to faithfully watch the rest of the NFL season.
My families mutual love of all things football means that we host a lot of game parties. In the past its meant really unhealthy food. And, I will admit to making some of those frozen boxed appetizers on occasion. But, that is in the past now that we are cleaning up our diet. I’ve been experimenting and testing cleaned up football fare recipes all season. This Spicy Hot Wings recipe is, I think, the best yet. I mean, these things are GOOD. Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about eating them. Add in the super yummy blue cheese sauce, and well, its just a football food you can’t NOT serve at your next get together. (Or everyday, yes they are that good.)
So, don’t let the 21 step recipe fool you, they are actually pretty simple to make. I started by having the butcher cut up a family sized pack of organic chicken wings into drumettes and wings. Once I got them home, I let them sit on the counter so they came to room temperature. Then I coated them in salt, pepper and olive oil. They cooked in a foil pouch in the oven for just under an hour. While they were cooking, I made the wing sauce and the blue cheese sauce. Once the wings were done, and after I poured out the liquid from the dish, I used a basting brush to brush on the wing sauce. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it helps get the delicious sauce into the nooks and crannies of the chicken. Then I poured the rest of the sauce evenly over the wings to make sure they were coated well. The I put them under a low broiler for about 8 minutes. You really don’t want them to burn. I removed them and carefully turn each one over using rubber tipped tongs. Then put them back under the broiler for about 5 minutes.
Serve these puppies right away with the blue cheese and some celery sticks for a classic wing experience. Don’t forget to pour the sauce from the dish over the wings for a wetter wing. I know some people have very particular feelings about wings, so you can leave the extra sauce off if you like them drier. Don’t forget the extra napkins. Yum
Seasoned wings and drumettes ready to be baked
Wings Sealed inside Foil
Be sure to seal all sides so the juices don't escape while cooking.
8-10 Chicken Wings, cleaned up and cut to separate into drumettes and wings (the butcher did this for me)
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
2-3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Hot Sauce (Use your favorite but be sure its low sodium and organic is best)
1/2 cup Local Honey
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons of Organic Boot Strap Molasses (I used 2 because I like my wings a little spicier but add the 3rd if you want it to be just a little sweeter - it'll still be spicy just not as much)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 Onion, minced
For the Blue Cheese Sauce
1 cup Organic Plain Greek Yogurt
8 oz Organic Blue Cheese, crumbled
a splash of Worcestershire Sauce
a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350.
Put the wings in a medium bowl, season liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil. You need just enough to cover the wings so only add what you need.
Mix the wings around to cover with seasonings and oil.
In a large rectangle glass baking dish, add enough aluminum foil to completely enclose the wings.
Add the wings in a single layer to the prepared baking dish.
Close and seal all sides of the aluminum foil around the wings.
Cook the wings in preheated oven for about 50 minutes.
While the wings are cooking prepare the wing sauce.
Add the minced garlic and onion to a medium mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine well.
Cover and place in the refrigerator until the wings are done cooking.
Then make the blue cheese sauce. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and combine well. I used my immersion blender to combine cream some of the blue cheese crumbles into the yogurt but its not necessary for a delicious sauce. But it does makes it a little creamier.
Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
After the wings have cooked for about 50 minutes, remove them and open the foil pouch. Carefully as there will be a lot of steam.
Carefully pour off the juices. (I just made a small hole in one side of the foil. Using oven mitts on both hands poured the juice into a bowl in the sink. Then dumped it when it cooled down)
Remove the wing sauce from the fridge. Using a basting brush or spoon pour the sauce over each wing. Then pour the remaining sauce over the wings evenly.
Place the wings under the broiler on the low setting for about 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to burn.
Remove the wings and carefully flip each one over then place back under the broiler for another 4-5 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to serving plates(s).
Pour sauce in the bottom of the baking dish for an extra kick of wing sauce flavor. (Keep the napkins handy!)
Serve with the blue cheese sauce. Add some celery sticks if desired.