March Madness parties don't have to be gut busters; here are three ways to make your wings sing—no frying required!
When it comes to bar grub, if you poll your average hungry dudes, 99 out of 100 will say the wing is king. It's hard to disagree; the combination of crispy skin, fiery hot sauce, and rich, salty blue cheese that is a buffalo chicken wing is hard to beat. No wonder it's a fixture at Super Bowl parties and sports bars everywhere. But for something so relatively petite, these addictive treats pack a massive punch of fat and calories—as many as 200 per wing, depending on how they are prepared. Put away 8 or 10 of those babies with a couple of beers to wash them down and you can see how that adds up, no matter how many celery sticks you eat on the side.
But let's face it: nachos are great and pretzels are fine, but it just isn't a party until the wings arrive. And announcing that you're serving "diet food" to a room full of rabid sports fans is likely to be met with about as much enthusiasm as finding out the game has been preempted by the ice dancing championships. So in the interest of maintaining harmonious domestic relations this March Madness season, I decided to put my wings on a diet and see if anyone would be the wiser. Could an oven-baked, blue-cheese-free wing make the grade with my team?
Yeah they can!
All three of these wing recipes are finger-licking good and full of flavor, and not one of them has ever seen the inside of a fryer. Not only does oven baking them cut down on the fat and calories, cleanup is a snap, and the recipes are much easier to scale up for a crowd—all major advantages in my book. Best of all, the wings and their sauces can be prepped and marinated the night before, so all you need to do on game day is turn them onto a baking sheet and toss them in the oven until cooked through and crisp. Then pile them on a platter, pass around a big stack of napkins, and dive in without guilt. Score!