There’s no hiding it, I’ve been seriously MIA. With the holidays and the craziness of the Death Eaters overtaking the Ministry, I desperately needed a break to recharge. Trust me, there’s been a TON of cooking with the winter holidays, family dinners, both Western & Lunar New Year, and endless sporting events—-all of which I plan to share with you all soon.
But I needed something to kick start me back into the writing game….and that, my friends, is Football.
Truthfully I don’t have a pony in tomorrow’s Super Bowl Game.
But football, oh–for the love of FOOTBALL! Nothing can beat the frenetic craziness when it’s a good game.
And although I don’t have much stake in the game tomorrow, let me tell you of a game where my whole being was on the line….the 2017 Rose Bowl Game!!!
Did you smell those Roses?!?!
Yes Friends…it was the GAME of GAMES where my USC Trojans battled Penn State. Both teams had undergone years of drama, leadership changes, team changes, injuries. But both fought and somehow they found themselves battling it off at one of the most iconic collegiate bowl games–the Rose Bowl.
Despite weeks of endless indulgence, we convened at big seestrah’s house to watch the game. And when it’s game day, there MUST be game day eats!!!
Seester T made a huge pot of rich and comforting Beef and Beans Chili. Her chili is way better than mine which is somewhat unnerving because she just throws things into the pot and poof–amazing chili.
Brother and Seester N tag teamed to get the components together for Loaded Beef Nachos using tortilla chips that I freshly fried. I know it sounds laborious but fresh fried chips make a huge difference!
As for me, I was in charge of the Chicken Wings because hot damn–we love us some wangzzzz’! When in doubt–wing it out!!
I ended up brining the wings overnight in a solution of water, salt, sugar, hot sauce and some other aromatics. I don’t always have the time to do this, so if you don’t–skip it. But I do think it’s worth this extra step as it infuses in an oompf of flavor. Obvi.
I also despise rubbery chicken wings. You know what I’m talking about– wings that haven’t been crisped enough or opt not to use a flour coating. Don’t get me wrong, other than K.F.C. (and I mean Korean Fried Chicken), I generally don’t like a thick breading on my wings–the meat to coating ratio just doesn’t work out well. But I do like how a light toss in a mixture of AP flour and rice flour (or cornstarch) helps with the crispiness factor.
I ended making two types that day – my standard Buffalo Wings and per my niece Nina’s request, these Garlicky-Parmesan Chicken Wings. Super garlicky, super cheesy, super crispy….definitely not diet food.
As for the game….I WAS STRESSED!!!
I won’t lie, I was the hottest mess in all the land.
There was some ridiculously high moments and some terribly low ones when the fam was terrified of what my wrath would be if it didn’t end well for the Trojans. But in the last second, my boys pulled the big W and we (more like I) LOST OUR MINDS!! The joy–OH THE JOY!
So although I don’t have much at stake in the game tomorrow….I can 100% empathize with those who do.
For the love of football, make it a great game tomorrow Pats’ and Falcons……..and as for y’all—please make my Garlicky-Parmesan Chicken Wings ❤
Garlicky-Parmesan Chicken Wings
Serves approximately 4
8 cups warm water
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup hot sauce, I like Frank’s
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 sprigs fresh parsley
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 pounds chicken wings, separate wings at the joint with tips removed
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup rice flour or cornstarch
1 tablespoon onion power
2 tablespoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon cayenne power
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese*
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large container, whisk the warm water with salt, sugar, and hot sauce until everything has dissolved. Add the thyme, parsley sprigs, garlic, lemon, peppercorns and bay leaves. Add the chicken wings and push down to ensure that all pieces are submerged. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight or about 8 hours.
Drain the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large, heavy bottom pot, fill 2-3 inches of oil. Heat until temperature reaches 350 degrees F.
While the oil heats, combine the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic power, and cayenne power in a large resealable bag. Close the bag and gently toss until the ingredients have combined. In batches, toss the chicken wings in the dried mixture until well coated and shake off any excess. Place the coated wings on a rack fitted over a baking sheet. This will help set the crust.
Begin making the garlic butter sauce by adding the butter, olive oil, remaining garlic powder, minced garlic and pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Over low heat, cook for 10-15 minutes–be careful not to burn the garlic.
Once the frying oil reaches 350 degrees F, begin frying the wings in batches, turning occasionally. Fry the wings for about 10 minutes each batch until they have turned golden brown. Transfer the fried wings to a clean rack fitted over a baking sheet and keep warm in a low temperature oven. Repeat until all the wings have been fried.
Place all the wings in a large bowl. Add several spoonfuls of garlic butter sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss well until all the wings have been coated—adding more garlic butter sauce as needed. Plate the wings and sprinkle the tops with the shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, carrots and celery sticks.
*I like the different textures that come from using both grated and shredded Parmesan. But if you want to use one over the other–knock yourself out!