Spicy Chicken Wings

By Wendy Monro

If anyone knows me, they know I don’t follow professional sports. Oddly enough, I ran track in junior high and played volleyball, softball and basketball in high school. Also, I had season tickets for the Dodgers, Kings, and Lakers while I was in high school. Still, it never really stuck and I rarely watch sports on television. Sure, I host the occasional super bowl game party but that is for the food, commercials and the half time show. I have to say; the most excited I ever was for football was when the Vikings played while I lived in Minnesota. The passion of Minnesota fans is intoxicating. Furthermore, I have never known a more faithful and enthusiastic Twins fan than what I witnessed in my friend, Kathy Broste in Hanska, Minnesota. Her unbridled love for the team made me jealous. I wanted that kind of fervor for a team. Yet, I still have none.

I have tried over the years to understand football. I never seemed to get it. What the heck are they doing? Since I only really watch the super bowl, it’s difficult to ask questions because people don’t really want to be bothered teaching me during that important game. This year, I finally realized why I never learned anything about football. I went to a small private school for junior high and high school. We didn’t have a football team. I had twenty-one people in my graduating class and that was a big number for that school. I doubt we had enough students to form a team. Also, Los Angeles didn’t have a football team. I remember we had the rose bowl every year, but I only know about that because of the rose parade. I am still not sure what the rose bowl is all about. So, I was never around football.

The other night, actually it was the first week of football season, we were at our local bar. We are really good friends with the bartenders who are all the nicest people. It was Thursday night and football was playing on all of the televisions. I always thought it was “Monday Night Football”. I asked one of the bartenders why football played on that Thursday night. She said, “Wendy, you’re so pretty (condescendingly, as she stroked my head), football is Thursday, Sunday and Monday.” What the heck? That’s a lot of football. I vowed then and there to get to know the game.

I have been spending time at friend’s houses watching and learning. I ask questions but try not to be too annoying. I am starting to really get it and it can be quite exciting. I don’t have a team yet. However, I think Las Vegas is getting one and maybe I will just cheer for them by default. One of my friend’s is into this Fantasy Football thing. I don’t think I’ll ever go that far. He has computers set up around him showing his personal score against the others in his group and switches back and forth from game to game while looking at stats on his phone. That is a bit too much for my liking. Every time we are there, I look and he is always winning. He must be pretty good.

Tuesday night, I have been invited by that bartender who made fun of me for not knowing football aired on Thursday nights to attend a party for the Cubs at her house. Yes, I know that is baseball. I watch the news. I told her I would go. This week, I made chicken wings to see if I could do it. Actually, we had a little debate party on Wednesday and I laid out all kinds of snacks and wine for the viewing. The chicken wings were a hit. I served them with the blue cheese dip. I followed the same recipe from last week. I am going to make these for the baseball viewing party. I am pretty sure these are a good sports watching type of snack and people will like them, fingers crossed.

Spicy Chicken Wings:

Time: 1 hour (plus one hour marinade)

Serves: 4-6

Vegetable oil to fry

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons black pepper

4 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

12 chicken wings, cut at the joint

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce

cup butter

2 teaspoons cayenne

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, 2 teaspoons of the cayenne pepper, and lemon pepper. Rinse chicken wings and dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a baking tray. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the wings. Cover these and allow them to marinate at least an hour. Heat oil in a Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs. Put flower into another bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the flour. Dredge wings into the eggs and then into the flour. Place wings into the oil about 5 or 6 at a time and let them cook or 8 10 minutes, until cooked through. Place on a paper towel lined dish. In a saucepan, combine Frank’s red hot sauce, butter and cayenne. Heat to a simmer. Toss the wings into this mixture until fully coated. Remove and place onto a platter. Serve with ranch or blue cheese (like my blue cheese dip in last week’s recipe). Serve with sliced carrots and celery.