Tis the season for tight ends, great beer & kick ass weekend munchies. I’ve always been a huge fan of football season. I also was raised by a die-hard football fan – once college football assistant coach – father, receiving a new college tee every single weekend as well as a Super Bowl sweatshirt every single year. There was not a game to be missed by my father.
So when moving down south I didn’t realize how much my father had prepared me for what football season filled with die hard fans like himself looked like every Saturday, Sunday & Monday night. Holy hell. What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of weight I was going to put on during the season. You started pouring beer in your cup at 9 AM with your first plate of wings hitting you at 10. Followed by fried pickles, fried okra, fried jalapeños, jalapeño poppers, sliders, loaded potato skins, the list goes on & on & on. The night ending with a beer-ita & Whataburger drive thru for some clogged arteries and early onset diabetes. Can you feel your thighs getting heavier by the minute? I can.
Having a child, especially being a single parent, it is a little harder to make an all day event out of football on the weekends now, let alone go to bars. It also becomes a little weighing on the wallet, and so I’ve had to start making my football weekends happen in my very own living room with the best company of all. Family. This allows me to also prepare things just the way I want, and lets me know exactly what I am putting into my body (and my sons) allowing me to eat more and feel better.
I wanted to jazz up my wings with fall being in the air and decided on an apple glaze over the usual go-toFranks hot sauce (which is NOT a bad choice, just needing something different). This gave the wings a family friendly twist with a little sweetness that balanced out the savory very well.
I also like to bake my wings, rubbing them in oil, to still achieve the same crispness that you would get when frying. This makes the wings a little less “heavy” and in my opinion more flavorful. You can easily skip the apple glaze all together and just eat these plain with only the rub (salt, pepper & garlic powder).
- 3 lb wings
- salt, pepper & garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- For glaze:
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 apples cored, peeled & chopped
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped and some for garnish (optional)
- First preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place wire rack on top.
- Next cover each wing with salt, pepper & garlic powder. Don't hold back here!
- After, rub each one with olive oil, using hands as not to oversaturate and cause your entire kitchen/home to smell like a fast food place once they begin baking in the oven.
- Place each wing on wired rack that is set over the lined baking sheet and into the oven for 45-50 minutes until wings are cooked and desired skin crispness is achieved.
- For the glaze:
- Sauce your chopped apples in 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Do this until apples have softened, about 8 minutes.
- Remove apples and "drain" on a paper towel.
- Using the same pan add two more tbsp butter, apple cider vinegar, honey and brown sugar. Keep over medium heat and allow sugars to start to caramelize/thicken. About another 8-10 minutes.
- Add your apple cider & cayenne. Again let cook for another 8-10 minutes until thickened slightly and is more of a glaze.
- Remove from heat when desired thickness is reached (doesn't need to be too thick, you'll need to be able to toss and cover the wings!)
- For serving toss wings in apple cider glaze then sprinkle some fresh parsley and cooked apples on top.