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Super Bowl Express: Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings with Parmesan Dipping Sauce

I am always staggered to hear how many chicken wings are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.  Last year it was 1.3 billion! I really do understand the allure.   In the pantheon of things we love to eat, the Chicken Wing is high on ourlist.  Crispy, crunchy and easy as all get out to make, I could likely put these on our dinner menu once a week, Super Bowl or no Super Bowl.  As a wing lover, I’ve tried all kinds of recipes for these delicious little finger-licking goodies and almost without fail, I love the results.   But in terms of simplicity, nothing comes close to this take on wings: 10 minutes tops in prep and 45 minutes undisturbed in a hot oven and that’s it. The recipe was brought to my attention by Tyler Florence in his “Tyler Florence Family Meal” (Rodale 2010).  Tyler subheads this book “Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better”.  And I couldn’t agree more. Tyler attributes the recipe to The Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco (558 Sacramento St. Tel: 415 772 9060).  And like every chicken wing recipe in America, it owes at least something to the ubiquitous Buffalo Wing.  In fact, every recipe for Chicken Wings pays some homage to the original because if it hadn’t been for Buffalo, we might never have tasted wings at all.

The Anchor Bar, Buffalo where it all began

In a post I wrote in January 2015, (See http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2015/01/balsamic-soy-glazed-chicken-wings-and.html), I gave a history of how the first Buffalo Wings came into existence.   Prior to their invention in 1964, the wing was pretty much confined to the garbage can or to tasks like making chicken stock.  People did not actually eat wings unless under duress. The Buffalo wing, born out of the necessity of feeding a hungry crowd of college boys at a place called The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, took a long time to become the bar staple it is now.  I distinctly remember running into a rather famous Broadway impresario in my super market in the early 1970s who extolled their virtues to me almost in a whisper so that no one else would hear that she was a fanatical fan of the wing.   And oh, what I’d been missing.

Parmesan Dipping Sauce
         The only problem the Buffalo wing faced in our house is that Andrew is no fan of the essential blue cheese dipping sauce that’s as integral to the Buffalo wing as the carrot and celery sticks no great wing is served without.  But once I craved these Salt and Pepper Wings, I was determined to serve them with something Andrew would be happy with.  Lo and behold, there’s a world of blue cheese haters out there just longing to eat wings with a dipping sauce of some other kind of cheese.   There’s actually a website called CheeseRank.com that headlined a section called “5 Cheese Dips for Buffalo Wings that are NOT Blue Cheese”.  It was here that I found the suggestion to substitute Reggiano Parmigiano for the blue.  The author claimed “Parm and its relatives pack enough tangy, unami flavor to stand up to the spicy, garlicky goodness of any wing.”  So off I went and put together a recipe for the dressing that follows.   It was superb, if I say so myself.  Tangy, creamy with a little texture and a wallop of cheese flavor.  Now if you don’t have any Parm on hand, CheeseRank.com suggested Cheddar, Goat Cheese, Feta and Triple Crème. Take your pick but I’d prefer the Parmigiano.  Here’s the recipe for both wings and dip.


2 thoughts on “Super Bowl Express: Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings with Parmesan Dipping Sauce”

  • My Grama was frying chicken wings in St Louis during the post-Depression building boom, so I think she and America owe far more to Southern cooks who had been frying chicken for 150 years by then, than anyone owes to a 'Buffalo Wing'.

  • That is fascinating. American cooking owes a tremendous debt to the great cooks of the South. But I think the folks in Buffalo have to be given credit for their invention of the Blue Cheese Dressing and Carrots and Celery that accompany it, don't you think? Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It means a lot to me.

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