As someone who doesn’t love football, but loves food, I think I found the perfect way to combine the two together — hosting The Ultimate Wing Party. A day where friends gather to watch football, and batches and batches of wings are served, all day long.
E-mailing and texting friends for the big day, my message went something like this, “Come over for football and wings Sunday? Going to make tons of different types of wings!” And the responses were more or less like this “Amazing! I’m in!”
While it’s great to watch a game at a bar and order wings, sometimes it’s nice to be in your own home with friends where you can make any kind of wings you want, and not to mention, any kind of cocktail, too.
As you’ll see, we worked in batches, usually serving two types of wings at a time, to a group of about 12 over the span of roughly 6 hours; from the time the first Sunday game started, to the end of the second one. No one was ever hungry, but no one was ever too full, either. We tried different cooking methods, marinating times, and glazes to come up with a variety of wings that will please any crowd.
Instead of planning out each recipe, buy the core ingredients below and make this party interactive: After a few rounds of wings, ask people to vote for their favorites or for combinations that they’d like to see (it’s always great to get a crowd involved, and you’ll be surprised as to who jumps into the kitchen). We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, so we had guests star their favorites and write up their own cocktail concoctions on the board (like the Whiskey Devil and Whiskey 3.0 that we created that day.)
Here are the wings we made, in order of appearance, with the crowd favorites noted. If you have a favorite go-to wing recipe that you don’t see here, please do share as we are counting down the days until our next party.
Batch 1: Traditional Buffalo Wings
We started with the basics and added our own touch to give these wings a kick — it worked pretty well, as this recipe got a three-star rating on the board.
Batch 2: Spicy BBQ Wings
A standard recipe that’s always good to have and can be made as spicy or mild as you like.
Batch 3: Spicy Honey-BBQ Wings
By popular demand, we decided to broil these wings to see if we could achieve an extra touch of crispiness (plus, it cut down on the cooking time).
Batch 3.5: New Orleans-Style Blackened Wings
A batch that snuck its way into the line-up, thanks to a recent New Orleans trip where we had picked up a blackened-seasoning mix, and encouragement of the Tulane alums at the party (who were in charge of making them).
Batch 4: Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings
We marinated these chicken wings for about two hours before baking (putting them in the refrigerator right after we put the first batch in the oven) to give the flavors some time to seep into the meat before cooking.
A four-star-rated recipe, these wings were also marinated for about two hours before being cooked; they were then finished with a sweet-and-spicy glaze.
With a crunch from breadcrumbs and a kick of heat from Sriracha, this recipe was a crowd favorite.
Batch 7: Blackened, Hot and Crispy Wings
A crowd-sourced creation, led by Mr. Avocado, these wings came out exactly as they sound: Blackened from the seasoning, hot from spice, and crispy from a quick stint under the broiler (they also received one of the highest ratings of the day).
Here are some of the comments from our parting guests.
“You guys should open up a wing truck!” – JRN; SDS; NPS
“This was one of the greatest days of my life. I will never forget this” – CRL (said completely seriously).
“We should do another day like this again soon, maybe with dips!” – Mr. Avocado
“Make sure to broil! You’ve got to broil to get that level of crispiness!” – AK; BCG
For the recipes above, these are the staples that you will need to have in your kitchen to make any of them, and perhaps to develop some new recipes based on what your guests come up with.
Salt and pepper
Spices and seasoning mixes