The Perfect Chicken Wings (For Real)

The only thing better than eating is eating while watching football. Okay, mix a good ol' American craft beer in there too, and that, my friends, is a party for the ages (or at least for a really great weekend). But what to eat when you are watching football?

In the past, I haven't had much success in the homemade chicken wing game. I would try grilling them to keep them a little healthier, and then the sauce wouldn't stick. Most of the time, deep-frying just produced a greasy, charred chicken stick, so I had almost given up on making wings altogether -- until I saw a small article and recipe in Food & Wine Magazine a few weeks back. The title was "Perfecting Chicken Wings," and boy did they nail it.

This method is so simple, and it's easy to change it up according to your tastes. For every version, you use the frozen chicken wings from the store, along with Frank's Red Hot and flour. If you want to make plain, old classic wings then just salt and pepper the flour and coat. Want to make an Indian version? Mix curry powder and garam masala powder into the flour. Italian-y wings? Try herbs chopped into the flour. For smoky and spicy, just add some chipotle powder to the flour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, put the flour-coated wings in on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn them over and then bake for another 25 minutes, or so until they look super-crispy.

As soon as they're done, toss them in Frank's Red Hot. You can mix in other flavors, too. For the Indian, I stirred a mango jalapeño jam into the hot sauce and topped the wings with toasted pistachios. A spicy barbecue version had chipotle in the flour and a kicked up barbecue sauce with chopped peppers and honey.

You really can't go wrong, just experiment. So forget about the trip to the breastaurant and make these at home. I promise they will be better.

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