Let’s put it this way, when you’re talking sports at me, pick the sport, my mind transports me to a virtual cookbook, a stinky cheese I’d like to slather on baguette, or a hip pair of shoes I could purchase from Zappos. I might be making eye contact, nodding my head at all the right pauses, but you lost me at NFL…blah, blah, blah.
Here’s where I contradict myself…as a San Francisco native, if you put my team in the World Series or the Super Bowl, suddenly I’m paying attention. At the very least, I’m offering to cook something thematic for the game viewing. In the case of Sunday’s big game, San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens, I was locked and loaded – ready to cook something amazing!
Days ago, I began fantasizing about the perfect potluck offering to bring to my sister’s Super Bowl party; a recipe the kids could easily tackle (pun intended). Flipping through Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook, I came across an enticing photo of Buffalo chicken wings and the corresponding recipe. I have literally never tasted Buffalo chicken wings, only avant-garde riffs on the flavor combination, but suddenly I was salivating at the thought of warm, spicy chicken dipped in cool, creamy, blue cheese-laden dip.
After Caleb and Sadie grew tired of their morning-long-bunk-bed-fort-building adventures, we tuned into Lady Gaga and danced around the kitchen while preparing to make our spicy wings. In no time, the chicken was under the broiler, and we were whirling the dip in the food processor. Everything was looking very edible. We jumped into the car with our wings n’ dip and hit the road.
At the party, everyone had been huddled (I’m getting good at this!) around the television set for a while. It felt like time to break out the Buffalo chicken wings. I wish I had snapped a succession of photos of the serving platter over the course the few minutes it took for the chicken to completely vanish. The wings received rave reviews and everyone loved the blue cheese dip. Despite the 49ers defeat, I felt a little victorious.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
For the wings
16 chicken wings (about 3 pounds)
¼ pound (1stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp Frank’s Hot Sauce or 1tsp Tabasco (we used TJ’s Chili Pepper Sauce)
1tsp kosher salt
For the dip
1 ½ cups crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 cup good mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Celery sticks, for serving
Preheat the broiler. Cut the chicken wings in thirds, cutting between the bones. Discard the wing tips. Melt the butter and add the cayenne, hot sauce, and salt. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the melted butter. Broil them about 3 inches below the heat for 8 minutes. Turn the wings, brush them again with butter, and broil for 4 more minutes, or until cooked.
For the dip, place the blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, milk, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steer blade. Process until almost smooth.
Serve the chicken wings hot or at room temperature with the blue cheese dip and celery sticks.