A confession: I’m not much of a football fan. But this year, I vow to pay closer attention to the Super Bowl – mostly ‘cause the Niners are in it.
I was a kid during the San Francisco 49ers’ heyday in the 1980s, and watched football on TV every Sunday (and Monday night) with my dad and my grandpa. We’d cheer on Joe Montana (who lived nearby) as he lofted perfect spirals to Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice. Our family rooted for the home team in each of their five Super Bowl victories – and why not? I mean, who could possibly root against players who recorded songs like this?
(I’ll admit it: I bought the cassingle of this song at the supermarket. But I wasn’t the only one, as evidenced by the fact that Henry started serenading aurally assaulting me with this song yesterday. HE STILL REMEMBERS ALL THE LYRICS.)
These days, football’s not exactly top-of-mind. I have a hard time distinguishing between Jim and John Harbaugh, and Ray Lewis’s dancing skills are more interesting to me than his linebacking skills. Henry’s forever rolling his eyes at my lack of pigskin knowledge. Sue me: I don’t know (or care) what a pistol formation is, or when it makes sense to attempt an onside kick. If you start jabbering about a “pick-6,” I’ll assume you’re referring to lottery tickets.
But without fail, at the end of every January:
- I read up on the human-interest stories about the players’ personal lives (because SOMEONE has to care that Colin Kaepernick likes to Instagram his food before he eats it);
- I enter the Super Bowl office hospital pool (which I’ve actually won a couple of times, thankyouverymuch); and
- If I’m not scheduled to be at work, I plan and host a Super Bowl party.
During the shindig, I typically keep an eye on the score, and occasionally ask questions that expose my ignorance of the game. But mostly, I’ll chat with friends, pick apart the million-dollar commercials and the halftime show extravaganza, and eat.
You see, football is only a small part of the equation for me. I’m really there to kick back with a bowl of (Paleo) chips, some sliders, and a whole mess ‘o chicken wings.
Specifically: Chile Lime Chicken Wings.
This recipe’s new to this blog, so keep reading for the details!
These tangy, spicy wings are the perfect accompaniment to next Sunday’s festivities. I promise you’ll fall in love with the bright, summery combination of zesty citrus, hot chile peppers, and tender chicken.
Here’s what you’ll need to make enough for a crowd (8 servings):
- ½ medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers (or 1 serrano pepper), ribs and seeds removed
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ cup cilantro, tightly packed
- Freshly ground pepper
- Zest from 2 limes
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 6 pounds chicken wings and/or drumsticks
- 1-2 tablespoons melted fat of choice
- 4 limes, cut into wedges
Here’s what to do:
Toss the onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, ground pepper, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, and coconut aminos into a blender, and…
…blitz everything together until a bright green purée is formed.
Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, and add the marinade.
Mix well with your hands.
Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Don’t marinate the wings longer than 12 hours because the acid will make the meat mushy. Ew.
Take the wings out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to cook them.
You can cook these chicken wings either in the oven or – if you can stand the chilly weather outside – on your backyard grill.
Want to stay indoors? Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 400°F on convection roast (or 425°F on the regular setting). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top. Then, arrange the wings on the greased wire rack, and…
…roast ‘em for 30 minutes (flipping midway) or until the wings turn golden brown.
If you’re grilling the chicken wings, first use long-handled tongs to grease the cooking grate with a wad of paper towels dipped in melted fat. Then, cook the wings over medium-hot coals (or with gas grill burners set to medium) for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the fat has rendered and the skin turns crisp and golden.
Serve with lime wedges, and let the feeding frenzy commence.
These wings’ll have your Super Bowl party guests sucking on their fingers, licking their lips, and begging for more.
And don’t forget the chips!
(Like what you see? This recipe and 127 others are available on my iPad cooking app!)
Alright, gang: Your turn. What are you going to make and/or eat for the big game?