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Sunday, February 06, 2011

It's the Testosterone Oscars®, or What Am I Going To Do With Five Pounds of Chicken Wings?
Posted by Jill | 9:02 AM
I'm so tired of hearing the Academy Awards show referred to as the "Gay Superbowl" or the "Chick Superbowl." Why should a mediocre football game played by two teams I don't care about (though Green Bay is my pick solely by virtue of being the only nonprofit, community-owned team in the NFL) get to be the point of reference? From now on, Superbowl Sunday is the Testosterone Oscar®s.

The best satire that I've seen on the Hype Machine that is Super Bowl Sunday comes from Wiley Miller of Non Sequitur fame. You'll have to click over to see it so that GoComics doesn't send its lawyers after me, but it's worth the click.

Now everyone knows that if you really don't have a team to root for in this game, there are only two reasons to watch: The commercials, and chicken wings.

Cookie Jill has a nice compendium of memorable Super Bowl ads, but you kind of have to wonder about a country in which millions of people who record programs on their DVRs so they don't have to watch commercials, tune in on this one day a year primarily to watch the commercials. This year, as in most years, car ads dominate, because despite $100 oil, Americans will still go broke to drive a cool car. And I'm sure we can expect the usual odious T&A ads from GoDaddy. And that annoying E-Trade baby, who if he were mine I would suffocate with a pillow to save the world from his future as a hedge fund manager, will also make an appearance.

I'm not sure what the obsession is with the Super Bowl. It can't just be football withdrawal, because fans of non-playoff teams gave up on football weeks ago, and even those of us whose teams fell just a wee bit short are now looking forward to spring and baseball.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps it's just an excuse to have what is essentially a national holiday smack dab in the dead of winter, and who could blame us, the way this winter has been. It's gotten so bad that yesterday we were cheering a cold, raw, rain that all froze up last night -- just because it wasn't snow. They're predicting a bit of snow and rain Monday night, and potentially another big one towards the end of next week. It's enough to make you want them to put Christmas back into March where it belongs, except for those pesky years when Easter is in March, which would just move the Holiday Chocolate Overload three months forward. Of course in March the weather is getting better and you can go outside and walk it off, but it doesn't change the fact that we have at least another month of this. So why not make today a holiday, especially when the Academy Awards are likely to be a snoozefest after the Weinstein Borg's frontal assault of the last few weeks. I enjoyed The King's Speech as much as the next girl, but Best Picture? Really? Doesn't that seem like a lot of trouble to go to in order to give Colin Firth the award he should have gotten last year for A Single Man? I mean, that would be like giving Shakespeare In Love Best Picture to justify giving Dame Judi Dench an award for a few minutes of screen time because you jobbed her on Mrs. Brown the year before.

Oh. Right.

But I digress.

So, since Super Bowl Sunday has become a national holiday to the point that not even the hungriest realtors dare to put on an open house today, it might as well have its own "official" food, and that food seems to be chicken wings.

There's something satisfying about chicken wings out of all proportion to what they are. Part of it is the primal thing about meat on the bone, though one would think that something as small and relatively dainty as chicken wings are hardly the stuff of which macho men are made. If it was only about primal carnivorousness, we would see a rush on turkey legs at the supermarkets this weekend, and you'd see on the news guys with foam rubber cheeses on their heads brandishing turkey legs like jousters and maidens at your local Renaissance Faire. But instead it's chicken wings.

Now, if you don't hold a Super Bowl party, but you feel obligated to participate in the bacchanalia of grease and bone and sauce that is any permutation of chicken wing you like, there is the question of where to find them. This year we haven't had a repeat of the Great Chicken Wing Shortage of 2009, but unless you are having 27 people over, you are stuck with mammoth ten-dollar packages of wings. And so it is here at Casa la Brilliant, where I'm planning to cook up some fake Buffalo wings (which are just going to be baked wings with some Frank's Hot Sauce slathered on at the end) and some teriyaki wings (because I don't much care for hot wings). And then I have to find room in the freezer for the rest.

So what kind of saturated fat-laden treats do YOU make for this dead-of-winter holiday?

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Blogger D. said...
Actually, I don't.

Although one year I made the mistake of going out for something snacky during what I didn't know was halftime. You'd think a famine had been scheduled for the next day...

Blogger Bustednuckles said...
Oh baby, there was a Chevron down the street from where I used to work that had the most wicked chicken wings, those things would just light a fire in your mouth.
I would call them and get two orders and just chow down on those bad boys.
Damn, they were good!

Blogger Abu Scooter said...
Oddly enough, this is the first Super Bowl in a while where we'll have chicken wings. Usually, it's veggie sticks with pork country ribs or beef brisket (dry-rubbed, central Texas style).

I think you're right about primordial carnivorousness. Chicken wings might not be as meaty as turkey legs, but they are as messy to eat. More imporantly, they're cheaper than turkey legs. The supermarkets here in exurban Chicago all have them on sale this week, for prices south of $1/lb.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
it's been a couple years, but i think i remember making/serving my custom chex mix, a wheel of brie & crackers, tapenade & crackers, chips & dip,
beer and soda. whatever it was, it took up the whole dining room table . . . . .oh, and popcorn. gotta have popcorn . . . . .and if we were feeling really go-for-it, smoked oysters on (more)crackers topped with dijon mustard.

mrs. jp

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Superbowl Sunday reminds me of a Druidic rite where the old king is killed to make sure they survive to the next year.

Best wings, I use an oven bag, the kind you put turkeys in, stick the thawed wings in with a jar of Nances Mild chicken wing sauce, tie it shut, shake it up and then bake at 350 for 35 minutes. I then have a bunch of hot sauces to add for individual flavors.

Blogger Jill said...
Well, I'm giving up on healthy today and I think we'll just sling together a meal of dozens of wings, Trader Joe's spinach-artichoke dip with chips, carrots & celery sticks, and some Sandwich Thins pizza.

Blogger Jill said...
I seasoned some flour with cayenne, garlic, salt & pepper. Patted the wings dry with paper towels. Dredged each wing in the flour and let them sit in the fridge for 2 hours. A dip in Frank's hot wing sauce and into a 400 oven for about 45 minutes. Turn them once. They come out with a dry surface like real buffalo wings should, and slightly crisp. I'll never pay eight bucks for wings in a restaurant again. The sesame teriyaki wings were good too.

Blogger Fixer said...
You make 'em just like Mrs. Fixer! Excellent!