Sunday, January 31, 2010

wings: honey-mustard wings & teriyaki wings

teriyaki wings

It’s hard to remember where my love for the American football began. It is an improbable love, sandwiched between my Russian heritage and my sports-apathetic family. In Russia, sports fans watched either soccer or hockey. They also read chess-match play-by-play summaries in the paper (yes, chess was considered a sport in Russia – I kid you not). My family, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. If it wasn’t opera or ballet, my father wasn’t paying attention. And if it wasn’t being broiled, fried or braised – my mother instantly would lose interest.

teriyaki marinadehoney mustard

So it begs the question why I’ve become such an avid football fan, replete with an arsenal of game-friendly foods in my repertoire. While I’ve certainly made my efforts to assimilate better, sports fanaticism is a hard one to fake. You actually have to understand what’s going on. And football comes with a lot of rules at its disposal, so it’s not a late-comer friendly game. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Bill Belichick and I share the same high school alma-mater.

teriyaki wingshoney mustard wings

To me, however, football has always been about war for territory. Every inch of space, every scrap of that field–makes a difference. And the strategy involved to defend that distance, or penetrate the enemy lines, all happening in mere seconds – all of it fascinates me. Perhaps the season between Thanksgiving and the Superbowl is my favorite. It’s a great excuse to gather with friends, yell at the television, and wear stretchy pants in order to comfortably ingest things like chili, cornbread, nachos, salsa, guacamole, wings, brownies and beer. To name a few. Food, friends and football – I can’t think of anything better on Sunday afternoons. When it’s too cold to spend hours wandering outside, you can gather with friends and cheer or lament together. Every year I look forward to the Super Bowl, but there’s always a hint of sadness behind it. With Super Bowl over, it’s goodbye to the football season – until next fall. And I’m not very good at saying goodbyes. I’m awkward and I suffer from separation anxiety.

teriyaki wingshoney mustard wings

I’m also terrible with trying to choose. Like with these wings, I had a terrible dilemma on which to write up – teriyaki or honey-mustard? And in the end I decided, why not both? I had to give you two recipes because trying to choose between the two was like choosing a favorite child. Not that I have any to draw on the experience, but I imagine it must be very tough. Or, I should hope it’s tough anyway. Besides, I’m a girl who loves her wings. I could sit by myself quite contentedly snacking on wings and beer all night long. And because I like you all very much, and want you to have fantastic Super Bowl parties, I wanted to make sure you had options. Though, I’ve got to be honest with you – the way to go here, is to make both. It only sounds over-the-top, but have you ever been to a party where there are leftover wings at the end of the night? I didn’t think so.

game-day chicken wings

Teriyaki Wings
Adapted from Tyler Florence

2 dozen chicken wings, about 3 1/4 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Teriyaki Sauce:
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 fresh, hot red chile, halved
5 garlic cloves, halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed with the side of a large knife


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on them so they don’t stick to one another. Lay the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the skin gets crispy and the wings are cooked through. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Meanwhile, stir together the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer over low heat and reduce until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce into a large bowl. Place the wings into the bowl as well, and toss to coat them with the sauce. Bake for another ten minutes so the sauce thickens on the wings. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve hot.

Serves 12.

Honey Mustard Wings

12 chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup mild honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard or spicy mustard (if you want your wings spicy)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the wing tips and break each wing into 2 pieces. Place wings in shallow baking dish. Mix honey, mustard, salt and butter together and spread over wings. Bake for 1 hour.

Makes 6 servings.

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  • 1
    Michaela said:

    If I show this entry to my boyfriend – he will leave me and be at your doorstep within 24 hours. You have mentioned everything he loves in one blog entry. Don’t worry, I will come and get him – and I will stay for the game too.
    ;) Michaela

    January 31, 2010 1:34 pm
  • 2

    After just coming back from having the cake that I spent most of last night making, I’ll try to hold myself back from making another great recipe of yours. Looks absolutely delish. BTW, in my school, Chess is considered a sport and everything… The chess players have to even get physicals done, which I though (and still think) is absurd, but that’s how things are…

    Great post!

    January 31, 2010 3:46 pm
  • 3
    codfish said:

    I love that you are so into football—so unexpected! I’ve been slowly getting into basketball, but not knowing the rules really does get to me.

    I also love that you used grapefruit juice in your teriyaki marinade. Sounds perfect. Maybe even the very reason I’ll watch the superbowl. :)

    January 31, 2010 6:34 pm
  • 4
    Claire said:

    YUM! I do a similar version with lemon and honey – a Nigel Slater recipe and it’s incredibly tasty. In our house when a chicken is roasted we actually fight over the wings. Luckily since I’m the one cooking I usually win at least one.. :-)

    January 31, 2010 6:34 pm
  • 5

    What Michaela wrote cracked me up as it echoes what I was thinking about my bf too. He sure does love his football! The recipes sound very good. Thanks for the post.

    January 31, 2010 9:30 pm
  • 6
    Radish said:

    Michaela and Mochi & Spice – I promise if i find any errant bf’s at my door, I will send them back, FedEx style, with wings in tow. :)

    Kamran – not to knock chess (I like to play, poorly though), but physicals? Really?

    Robin – basketball is nice, but nowhere near the brutality of football. I like tackles. Ha.

    Claire – if you’re cooking, only fair you get your pick of the meat!

    February 1, 2010 8:26 am
  • 7

    Love these. I do a very similar method for my wings, but under the broiler, and I slash the skin first so the fat cooks out and they get nice and crisp. I have done honey mustard and hot wings this way – will have to try your teriyaki!

    February 1, 2010 9:03 am
  • 8
    Karen said:

    I agree with you about football. I always tell people there’s inherent drama in “can you get 10 yards in four downs.” I hope you enjoy watching the Super Bowl with good friends and good food.

    February 1, 2010 3:37 pm
  • 9

    Can you get 10 yards in four tries. Sounds like my life. Love the wings. I’d actually come to a superbowl party to eat these.

    February 1, 2010 6:48 pm
  • 10

    my husband also has learned to love American football over the years. please come to our super bowl party with your wings!

    February 2, 2010 7:10 pm
  • 11
    Barbara said:

    Your wing recipe is fabulous!
    I call it the 3 F’s. Food, friends and football! In that order.

    February 3, 2010 7:26 am
  • 12
    Chris said:

    Here via Lord Of The Wings blog. Nice looking hot wings, I’d go for the teriyaki version.

    February 3, 2010 6:07 pm
  • 13

    VERY well-written post! I, too, came to my love of football late. Growing up in Canada, life revolved around hockey. Now I am proud to admit that I am an avid NFL fan.

    I love the choice of the two wings. That’s a great way to please everyone at the Super Bowl party!

    February 3, 2010 8:54 pm
  • 14

    A favourite wing recipe of mine uses some lime juice, soy, and sugar. it’s so refreshing yet addictive!

    February 3, 2010 10:38 pm
  • 15

    Major drool. Can I go to your house this weekend? LOL.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 pm
  • 16
    Radish said:

    Bee – absolutely, it’s across the street at my friends’ place, but we’ve always have room for more! :)

    February 6, 2010 4:18 am
  • 17

    Those look delicious and I love that you didn’t deep fry them (not that I have anything against deep frying, it’s just not practical in my apt). I’m a bit of an anomaly in that I grew up in the US with a father and step father who were both really into football, and yet I have absolutely no interest in it. Perhaps if there was food more like this to associate with football I’d be more into it.

    February 8, 2010 6:22 pm
  • 18
    Radish said:

    Marc – I’m convinced that 50% of my interest in the sport has to do with the food that gets to be served and the friends that gather. I find these bleak winter days so much more cheerful with friends, food, beer and a game on tv. As for deep-frying – I agree, not practicable in a small apartment and also, I want to be enjoying the time with friends, not be relegated to the kitchen half the night :)

    February 8, 2010 6:33 pm
  • 19

    […] do, however, adore teryaki.  And so when I saw this recipe while perusing the Web for Super Bowl dishes that would delight and surprise my party animals […]

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  • 20

    God these look so good. My mouth literally started salivating. I’m still justified in making these after the superbowl is over, right??

    Does the 1 chile in the teriyaki wings give it some solid heat? I love it when it burns so nice.

    February 9, 2010 9:37 pm
  • 21
    Radish said:

    Tastytasties – you are more than justified. Superbowl foods should be eaten year round, IMHO. I would start with 1 chilli and then build up from there. It’s got a nice kick, but not a really huge one – that way you can still taste the wings!

    February 10, 2010 6:44 am
  • 22

    I used to think football and baseball were impossible to watch, until an ex of mine explained the rules to me, and took me to some games live, now I love it. And these wings look perfect to go with any sports.

    March 30, 2010 4:45 am
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