Super Bowl is right around the corner and chicken wing prices are through the roof. But, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings....you just can't! One tip, never buy frozen chicken wings. Because most likely they are on the older end in regards to fresh chicken wings, that were then thrown in a freezer before they expired. The flavor profile is completely different between fresh and frozen. I tend to buy the whole fresh chicken wing, as they are usually cheaper than pre-cut ones. The more times something is processed (in this instance, cut into individual joints) the higher the price. Or you could always just cook whole chicken wings...they just tend to be tougher to eat in my opinion. Here is a great video demonstrating how to cut a whole chicken wing -->
Of course there are a billion wing sauce recipes out there and there are a billion excellent ones, this just happens to be the way I do it and my favorite wing sauce. There is something about Sriracha... it's a slow heat, meaning it doesn't bite you right off the bat. Then I also add in some brown sugar so you get a sweet taste that blends right into this spicy, smokey sriracha flavor. Then we come to how you actually cook the chicken wings, everybody has their own preference. But, me, I prefer to have mine grilled...I like a little bit of char on my chicken wing. If you are looking to try a new wing sauce, be sure to give this a try, you will not be disappointed!
Sriracha Wing Sauce
Prep time: 5m | Cook time: 10min | Total time: 15min | Yield: 1 1/4 cups
- 2/3 cup Sriracha
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1.5 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- Combine the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and brown sugar in a pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring with a whisk. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat. Process the sauce with an immersion blender or blender to fully emulsify the sauce. Season with salt if need be.
- Use the sauce immediately or store in a container in the refrigerator.
Always remember to cook your chicken to a proper temperature of 165F. To make sure you are cooking and holding all of your food correctly, be sure to get yourself a Thermapen MK4. These are the best thermometers on the market and I use mine pretty much every time I cook. This is one kitchen gadget that will not waste space!
Other game day wing sauces...
Time will pass and seasons will come and go, so to will football season inevitably end for every fan base...some sooner than others. Unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans, the season has ended at the hands of a New England Patriots butt whoopin'. As hard as it is to admit, the better team clearly won....with that said...LETS GO PENS!!
Whenever I watch big games, like the Steelers/Patriots AFC Championship game, I always make a point to make something absolutely delicious. So that whatever the outcome of the game, at least I still win because I had something delicious...well that's my silver lining logic. So, in true fashion, I made this delicious Bacon Cheeseburger soup! What really makes this soup fantastic is layering the bacon flavor through the entire cooking process. This flavor layering can be achieved in lots of recipes, especially when using a fat (i.e. butter, oil, bacon fat, etc). In this example, I rendered fat from both the ground beef and bacon. I then saved that rendered fat and used it through the entire recipe. I used the golden delicious fat to saute the mirepoix, as well as, the base for the roux. Layering or building flavor, especially in soup, is definitely a great way to elevate any dish. With that said, lets check out this delicious recipe!
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
Prep time: 45m | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 1hr 15min | Yield: 8 servings (2 1/4 quart)
- 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 4 slices bacon, 1" chop
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup carrots, shredded
- 3/4 cup celery, diced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1-3/4 pounds peeled potatoes, cubed (about 4 cups)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 package (16-ounce) Velvetta cheese, cubed
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp worchestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the dutch oven, add chopped bacon and cook until crispy and bacon fat is rendered. Place mesh sieve over a bowl and drain bacon, separating the bacon bits from fat. Set both the fat and cooked bacon aside. In same dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon bacon fat over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, beef and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of bacon fat until shimmering. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add roux to the soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and worchestershire sauce; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.
- To service, top soup with shredded cheddar cheese, cooked bacon bits, and sliced scallions.
Of course when throwing a Super Bowl Party (or should I say Soup-er Bowl Party...ba doom ching!) you may want to keep food out to snack on during the game. It is crucial that hot foods at above 135F and cold foods don't exceed 41F. Always check these temperatures every 2 hours to maintain proper food safety protocol. The best way to monitor food temperatures? Thermapen of course! I use mine pretty much every time I cook. It's incredibly accurate, easy to ready, fast, and most importantly durable.
Other delicious soup recipes...
Holy cow...I just realized I haven't created a blog post since May 11th...SHAME ON ME!! While there is no excuse for not blogging for 8 months, it's not like I have been sitting around on my butt doing nothing. So, lets see what has been happening?? Probably the biggest deterrent for maintaining my blog is just being a father. I have literally never done anything as rewarding as being a dad and it has just been so much fun watching my little boy grow up...he just turned 1 year old on the 6th and I still just can't get over that.
Lets see, what else has come up...ohh yeah...I got a new job in August! I am now a Territory Manager for the second largest, and best, broadline food distributor in the country, US Foods. It definitely felt time to make a change and the opportunity presented itself, so I jumped at it and absolutely love my decision. Given my love for food, cooking, and the restaurant industry....it just fits my personality so well.
Not too much else has come up, except for 2016 ended up being a great sports year, and great year in general for me. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, Penn State Football beat Ohio State and won the Big 10 Championship (Which I attended and it might have been the greatest sporting event that I have attended). One thing that hasn't changed is that I am still cooking like crazy and the good news is I probably have 8 months worth of blogging material ready to share! So without further ado, lets talk about this Slow Cooker Chili recipe. There isn't anything crazy about this recipe, but it is a goodie and is perfect for this time of year. One thing that I did discover is, like pasta, cooking the veggies, beef, and spices all together in a pan and then letting them meld over night before throwing it all in the crockpot really intensifies the flavors. So, if you have time, I recommend doing that to really elevate this recipe. Good luck and let me know what you think!
Slow Cooker Chili
Prep time: 45m | Cook time: 6-8hrs | Total time: 45min | Yield: 6 servings
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice
- 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pickled jalapenos or green chilies, drained
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal
- In a large sauce pan heated over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. Cook the ground beef until browned. Add in the diced onions and red pepper, cooking until softened. Then add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt; cooking until fragerant. Optional: Let the spiced meat and veggie mixture cool, then store in a container and refrigerate overnight.
- Add the spiced meat mixture, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and kidney beans to a crock pot. Cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Stir in the pickled jalapenos, cornmeal, and season with salt as need. Serve with cheese, thinly sliced scalions, and sour cream.