There comes a time in every year where people gather together to enjoy some quality time with their friends and loved ones… haha. I couldn’t even write that with a straight face. Football Football Football. That’s what brings people together to drink beer, party it up, and watch their team brawl it out to find out who will become the next Super Bowl Champion. Now, I personally do not enjoy watching sports. I like playing sports, but watching other people play sports doesn’t really do it for me. However, this doesn’t stop me from having a great weekend as well, especially in the Philly area, because it’s not just Super Bowl weekend here, it’s Wing Weekend!!
Starting off the Friday before every Super Bowl, Philadelphia’s own WIP Sports Radio hosts its annual Wing Bowl in which contestants compete to see who can eat the most wings within a given time. With over 10,000 wings fried up for this event, you can obviously see that wings play a major role in this weekend’s festivities… and it doesn’t stop there. Take-out wing joints such as Chuck’s Cafe in Hamilton have lines out the door to bring the wing back for the big game. Recipe sections like ours were flooded with people looking to cook their very own wings for this special occasion. But with the announced wing shortage due to droughts and the $65,000 worth of wings stolen in Georgia to sell on the black market (I know, right?), finding them in your local grocery store was proving to be a bit difficult this year. Lucky for me, we still had some. So I bought up a bunch and invited some friends over.
While down at the Pepper’s Tailgating Party in Rehoboth, we met Len from Blackwoods Wing Sauce who had given us a few bottles to try the next time we were making up some wings. I couldn’t think of a better time to crack open the bottles and give them a whirl than Wing Weekend, so I broke out the deep fryer and started cooking. Why not grill them you ask? Well the cooking method I use depends mostly on what recipe I am making, or whether or not I want that smoky flavor, or if I want them juicy or tender. But the real reason: it was F-ing cold out there man, and I love me some good fried wings… even more so if I stay warm while making them. Plus, when you’re done frying, you just toss and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Now, Blackwoods pushes the fact that they use all natural ingredients and have been mastering these blends for over 17 years, as opposed to using a bunch of preservatives. I tossed the wings in their Signature sauce, and with one bite I could see exactly what they were talking about. The flavors that encompassed the sauce were incredible. The Signature sauce had a rich smoothness to it and brought a bit of heat all without kicking me in the throat or burning my tongue. There was no sharp acidity or heavy vinegar taste that usually accompanies some store bought hot sauces; none of that… just great taste. One of my guests, believe it or not, doesn’t enjoy hot and spicy things. So I split up the rest of the wings and tossed them in the remaining Blackwoods Wing Sauces. We had some that were Garlic Parmesan (mild), some that were Chipotle (BBQ), and some that were Dante’s Inferno (Hot). This way everyone could enjoy the wings at their own heat level while also giving me a chance to taste them all.
The Garlic Parmesan and the Chipotle were where it was at for Rob (the anti-spicer) as he kept gobbling them up faster than I could grab a piece. When I hear Chipotle, I usually turn it down because that, to me, means a heavy smoked flavor that I’m not particularly fond of. But, this wasn’t the case with Blackwoods, and I found myself reaching for that section of the plate from time to time. The Dante’s Inferno, on the other hand, made me think that the sauce was going to be extremely hot like the name suggests, and I don’t really enjoy the super hot sauces. But I found that with all of Blackwoods Wing Sauces, the heat levels were all tolerable and enjoyable, including Dante’s Inferno. And this was best shown by the empty plates and happy bellies.
I am always looking for a reason to eat wings, and Super Bowl weekend did just that. With plenty of wing related events and parties, it’s hard not to get excited during this time of year. Football? Not for me. But the wing craze? I’m all for it, especially if it’s deep fried.