A few months ago, my car was in the shop for a few minor repairs. While working on the car, one of the mechanics noticed the football that I keep in my trunk.
It’s there for those just-in-case moments where you find yourself in a big open space perfect for tossing the pigskin around. It’s also there because I keep forgetting to remove it, but that’s okay … it’s good to have around even if we don’t use it as much as I’d like.
As we were settling the bill, we got to talking about football, my love of the Oakland Raiders (and what that says for team loyalty … they aren’t exactly known for their lengthy winning streaks) and the NFL season. That was pretty early in the season, and there was still time to hope that this would be the year …
Alas, it wasn’t.
That season is now over, and we’re nearing the conclusion of the post-season. And it’s a post-season closer that won’t include the Raiders … or the team most of you favor: the New England Patriots. As disappointing as I know that can be, I was pleasantly surprised by the tenor of Facebook posts about the game Sunday.
I’d watched. The Denver Broncos played so well, and they deserved that win. And so many of my friends who are Patriots fans had kind, generous things to say of the game afterward. It’s not something we always see after a favorite team’s loss … heck, there were some downright cruel remarks about Stephen Gostkowski being circulated on Twitter that evening. But among my friends? It was impressive and even a little heartwarming.
When the Super Bowl is played at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area on Feb. 7, there’s sure to be lots of conversation across social media — both about the game and the commercials. There’s also bound to be much food enjoyed that night.
Especially wings, which are an essential football watching food. Or, at least they are to me.
But most wing recipes feed a crowd, which is great when you have a crowd to feed. That, however, isn’t always the case. That’s why I created this small batch recipe. It makes enough for just a couple of you (hint: a pound of wings is about 12 wings). But it’s also easily doubled or tripled for more folks.
The wings have a dry spice rub that really permeates the meat while it cooks in the slow cooker. And the hoisin-based glaze gives it a rich Asian flavor on the outside. Make no mistake, these aren’t hot wings. (Looking for a hot wing recipe? Check out my Crispy Baked Hot Wings recipe from last year.) But they aren’t supposed to be. These are for the wing lovers who are looking for rich, nuanced flavors.
You can locate hoisin sauce in the international aisle of most grocery stores (I picked it up at Hannaford) or it can be ordered online in a pinch.
- 1 lb split chicken wings
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
- Place the split chicken wings (that means broken into wingettes and drumettes with tips removed and discarded) in a slow cooker. A mid-sized one (mine is 4 quarts) works perfectly for this amount of wings. If you double the recipe, it should work fine in that size slow cooker as well -- but any larger quantities will need a larger slow cooker.
- In a small bowl thoroughly combine the ground ginger, smoked paprika, light brown sugar and salt. Sprinkle over the wings and stir well to combine.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until cooked through. Remove the wings to a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, soy sauce and rice vinegar until smooth. Brush on the wings.
- Set an oven rack to 4-inches below the broiler coil. Broil the wings for 6-8 minutes, flipping once and re-basting with sauce, until browned. Enjoy.