Buffalo Wings and Puppy Tails

I’m not exactly the biggest football fan, at least when it comes to the NFL (college ball is a different story – Go State).  That being said, Mark and I have developed a bit of a Super Bowl tradition, which involves unhealthy food, cheap beer and dividing our time between the Super Bowl and the adorable Puppy Bowl (yes, some years it’s more puppies than professional athletes).

This year, it seemed only fitting that I try out a new recipe for the blog while creating a menu for Super/Puppy Bowl Sunday.  Mark and I love wings – our favorites can be found in my old neighborhood of Bay Ridge, at The Kettle Black – but I’ve never made them myself.  After doing a little online research (no The New Best Recipe this week!), I discovered that the most commonly used Buffalo wing recipe includes just three ingredients:  chicken wings, hot sauce and butter.  Simple, yes.  But after last week’s Ratatouille endeavor, I figured I deserved a break.

The big bonus of this recipe is that it only takes 20 minutes.  This allowed Mark and I to repeat another one of our Super/Puppy Bowl traditions – hitting the grocery store at kick-off time.  Trust me, there is nothing like having the grocery story to yourself and then coming home in time for the half-time kitty show.

After twenty minutes of baking, the wings were ready to be tossed in butter and hot sauce.  I chose Frank’s Hot Sauce because it claims to have been the “secret ingredient” in the original Buffalo wing recipe invented back in 1964.  I’m not an expert on Buffalo history, but I was convinced.

The first recipe I saw called for six tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of hot sauce.  With all due respect, this was a terrible ratio.  The wings tasted like butter and not much else.  After increasing the hot sauce to a full cup, I had the taste I was looking for.  They still weren’t as spicy as I would have liked, but they were good enough for a first effort.  And the chicken itself was as moist as could be.

Knowing that chicken wings weren’t enough for dinner alone, I whipped up a quick five layer dip – beans, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and sharp cheddar – as a side dish.  Topped off with beer, it made for a well-balanced living room meal.

As for the game(s)…. the Giants pulled off a stunning last-minute victory that actually had both Mark and I on the edge of our seats until the bitter end.  My personal choice for MVP – Most Valuable Puppy – didn’t win.  But there is always next year, Leroy.

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