Guess what today is??
Guess what day it is!!
Today is the kickoff of the NCAA tournament, or "March Madness" as much of the country joyfully calls it. What better food to kick of the tournament than the official food of sports-watching? There is none, these are hands-down the best! The hubby makes them a couple times a year, usually for the Super Bowl, the title game of the NCAA tournament, the Hall of Fame Game in the NFL, occasionally when the Steelers play the Bengals... and that's about it. They are a treat for us, and I look forward to them as such whenever I get them.
We actually made this batch for the Super Bowl, but I tucked the recipe in my pocket for the start of the NCAA tournament. You know, cause people are done with wings after the Super Bowl. But come the start of March, people once again start searching for those crispy, spicy, pan-fried morsels of goodness.
I myself didn't discover wings until I was well into my 20's. It had never crossed my mind to try them. Or maybe I did and they were just forgettable. At any rate, my first memorable experience with wings came when I was 23. The hubby and I were living in an apartment in Beaverton, OR that was 100 yards from a little restaurant you all may have heard of. It was new to me at the time, and I believe new to Portland. Can you guess what it is?
Dun, dun, dun.
It's Buffalo Wild Wings. And there, at that newly built location in the newly built Tanasbourne shopping center, across the street from our new apartment, I had wings for the first time.
And it's been true love ever since. I'm crazy about buffalo sauce. I love it on wings, on shrimp, on pizzas, on salads, on sandwiches, on burgers... the sky is the limit. The best part about chicken wings? They are so man-friendly. If I'm craving wings, and I voice this to the hubby, he's ready for them too. These days we don't care much for Buffalo Wild Wings, with their success has come the common restaurant pitfalls. Their wings are smaller and more expensive, and in general, all their prices have gone up, their drinks have gotten weak, etc. The same things that happen to most restaurants when they franchise and expand. Quality goes down. And that's why we eat Buffalo Wings at home now.
I will admit though, our favorite buffalo sauce is still Buffalo Wild Wing's Medium Sauce. There's a reason I still go to the restaurant, and that's to buy their sauce. I always buy a 3-pack, and that lasts for about 2 years. We love it at our house! It's not a requirement for these wings though, go ahead and slather them with your own favorite buffalo sauce.
Does everyone have their brackets filled out? Our family always does a family pool during the tournament, it's great fun. I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone, but both the hubby and I picked Kentucky to win the whole thing. Actually, I have a feeling everyone in the family is going to pick Kentucky to go the whole way :)
One more thing before I head off. We always, always, always devour these wings with homemade Blue Cheese Dressing-
It's an absolute must that they go together. I'll include a link to our favorite recipe. Mmmm, buffalo sauce and blue cheese. Such an amazing flavor combo. I'm already getting lunch ideas. Oh brother.
Happy Thursday! And, Go Cats!
Ingredients (makes ~2 dozen wings):
1 (5 lb) package of chicken wings (not precut into party wings)
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 cup oil (coconut oil is best, but it can be hard to find one that doesn't add a lot of coconut flavor. And despite what you may have heard, olive oil is a relatively heat stable oil. You could use it to fry these. )
1/4- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I used Buffalo Wild Wings Medium Sauce)
for serving- Blue Cheese Dressing, celery sticks
1. Preheat oven to 375º.
2. Section the chicken wings- using a large cleaver, separate the chicken drumette from the middle section. Repeat with all chicken pieces.
3. Combine flour, salt, and red pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add chicken wings to the bowl, toss to coat.
4. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add wings. Sear for 1-2 minutes on each side, just to brown the wings. Remove wings from heat and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. When all the wings have been seared and placed on baking sheet, place in preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip all chicken, and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken temperature is 165º. Remove from oven.
5. Place buffalo sauce in a large bowl. Add wings to the bowl, and toss to coat. Serve immediately, with Blue Cheese Dressing and celery sticks.
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Linked to: Create It Thursday, Thank Goodness It's Thursday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Treasure Box Tuesday