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Fall is here and there are so many things to be thankful for; cooler weather, comfort food and football season are just a few. Although I look forward to the crisp fall air and the stews and braises of the season, I can’t say that I am a big football fanatic. It’s a shame really, being that I was raised in a football loving family. My family has season tickets to the Titans, they watch every game, my father’s Facebook feed on game night is practically a play-by-play of what is happening on the screen, but I am just not that into it. Invite me to a football party and you will find me somewhere in the vicinity of the snack table, filling up my second plate of chicken wings and pigs-in-a-blanket. In short, I’m just there for the food.
I love football food. It is a wonderful excuse to wrap everything in bacon and cover it in cheese. How can that be bad? A table full of crispy protein and cheesy carbohydrates are all but a necessity to cheering the home team to victory and nothing says “Go Team!” like chicken wings. Toss them in whiskey and maple syrup and top them with bacon and your team is nearly guaranteed to win. Or at the very least, defeat will be easier to swallow with salty bacon stuck to your fingers.
- 3-4 pounds of chicken wings tips removed
- Vegetable oil spray
- Salt and pepper
- 8 slices of bacon chopped
- ½ cup plus 1 T real maple syrup
- 2 T whiskey or bourbon
- ¼ apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a rimmed sheet pan liberally with vegetable oil spray. Place wings on the tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray with vegetable oil again and roast for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked and skin is beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile in a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon and reserve a ¼ cup of the bacon drippings in a bowl. To the drippings add ½ cup maple syrup, whiskey, and vinegar and stir until well combined.
- Remove the wings from the tray and toss to coat in the sauce. Place them back on the tray and put them into the oven for 2-3 more minutes to set the sauce. Remove to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining syrup and top with cooked bacon. Serve with lots of napkins!