Are you ready for some football food? I am! And, if you can’t be at the game tailgating with some chili, I’d venture to guess the next best thing is cozying up to your favorite spot on the couch in your softest sweatpants with a pile of these. One of Joe’s oldest and best friends, Ryan (a.k.a Ry-Mo or Mo), was visiting Jersey this summer and hosted a barbecue at his mom’s house. That’s when my mouth first made contact with these sweet, spicy, smokey, tender chicken wings that instantly became my favorite new play on the traditional buffalo wing. After enjoying two too many and finally coming up for air, I sought out Ryan to begin picking his brain for the recipe. I was expecting a laundry list of ingredients, but ultimately was surprised by how only one simple ingredient elevated this classic football food: molasses. Shockingly, I’ve never cooked or baked anything that called for it. First time for everything, right? Ryan gave me general direction – mainly ingredients and the steps – because he doesn’t follow a recipe himself; just tastes as he goes. He alleges the secret to his success is grilling them on high to get perfectly crisp skin and then taking the heat down to low for tender meat.
Last weekend, I decided it was time to “wing it” (couldn’t help myself). I followed his guidelines and my palate and threw together a batch for Sunday’s Giants game. Dang, they were good. The husband and I were pleased, as evidenced by the furious licking of every last drop of sauce clinging to our fingers. There’s more football on today and all season long… just another excuse to put a batch of these together and enjoy with your favorite cold beverage. Happy football season, folks!
mo’s buffalo wings
Serves 4 normal people (or Joe and me)
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce
3 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 + 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. chicken wings
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the hot sauce, molasses and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Simmer for three minutes and remove from heat.
Preheat grill on high. Combine salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add wings and toss to coat. Use tongs to transfer the wings to the grill. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, flipping midway. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 8 minutes or until entirely cooked. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Pour the wing sauce over and toss until all are well-coated. Serve immediately as is or with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.