With the express exception of Tennis – Wimbledon in particular (the event of Kings), as a general rule I don’t ‘do’ sport. Although, if there was one American sport that I could probably get a bit too involved in, it would be American Football. I like the strategic nature of it, the clear player roles and different plays needed to win as well as the hilarious opportunity for bad lip reading. However, truth be told, I’ve never seen a single game despite it’s apparent growing popularity in the UK. But this is all going to change on the 5th of February when I will experience my first advert filled, three hour long, testosterone soaked night of sweat and excitement.
But what happened to make such a change? Well as with so many things in my life, it’s all about the food; the guys behind French’s and Franks Hot Sauce got in touch and asked me to go crazy with the condiment cupboard and tell them all about what I would want to eat while watching the game. So with my head full of hotdog dreams and chicken wing fantasies I decided to pop my pretend rugby ball shaped cherry and join our ever increasingly non-judgemental and open minded trans-atlantic cousins*.
The care package that the guys put together for me was really interesting; a couple of BBQ sauces, American mustards and hot sauces so to get some recipe inspiration, first I had to get a bit more focussed on what it was that I really would want from the sense of occasion.
Immediately, I turned to the hot dog option but mustard on a sausage innabun while great and tasty is never going to set the culinary world alive and so I moved on to look for something more interesting. I knew I wanted to cook with an ingredient I hadn’t used before and so that ruled the Franks Original out – I tend to cycle through different hot sauces within my usual monthly shop but I always come back to Franks so it is well known in my kitchen.
Next the BBQ sauce: I make my own BBQ sauce and nice as these ones undoubtedly are, I can’t in all good conscious bring myself to recommend a shop bought version. I’m sure that these are tasty in their own right but if my family ever found out that I had used a mass produced version, I would relinquish what little respect I ever had. And trust me, there isn’t much of it left to lose.
So that only left one choice; the iconic, the classic, the authentic Buffalo wing. But what’s the point in just frying up some chicken wings and dumping a load of sauce over the top? That’s not the way we roll in the house so come with me and I’ll give you something that will make your Super Bowl party for 1 go down in Superbowl Party history.
- Pitta bread
- Chicken thighs, 2 per person (skin on, thighs are a bit more substantial than chicken wings and far more forgiving to cook when you’ve pre-loaded a couple of social beverages before the game )
- Cheddar cheese (mild is better than extra mature – there is less oil)
- Franks Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce
- Smoked Paprika
- Sea salt
For the salad (optional, obviously)
- Romane or Iceburg lettuce
- a couple of cherry tomatos
- sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar (the good stuff)
Heat the oven to 180ish and cook the chicken thighs with a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of olive oil. Roast for 35/40 mins or until the skin crunches when you tap it. It should be all golden and bubbly. Take the skin off, then shred the meat off the thighs with two forks and put to one side.
Split your pitta’s through the middle to open them up, then cut in half and in half again. The thinner you make them, the crunchier and crisper they will be. Spread the bits out on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt, smoked paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss the whole lot together to get everything coated up and bake them on one side until they are a light brown, it should take about five minutes. Whip them out, turn them over and put them back for a toasting on the other side.
When the nacho chips (aka pitta!) are just turning a touch brown, drown them with grated cheese, and shredded chicken. Then back in the hot oven they go for just enough time for the cheese to melt. Top with crispy skin shards, add as much or as little of the Franks Buffalo sauce as you fancy. You might also want to put some dips on the side – guacamole, salsa or a sour cream and onion dip will pimp this meal to the max. Personally, I like to cut through the richness of the cheese and tang of the sauce with a bit of sweet, so a very quick salad of chopped toms and cucumber, ripped up lettuce, drizzled with a touch of olive oil, a small sprinkle of salt and a glug of decent balsamic was a perfect accompaniment.
Then with a bottle of beer on the sofa, I’m prepared for the adoration of friends and family (in the morning obviously because they aren’t going to stay up and watch the game like I will).
Frank says: Relax
So there you have it, Chicken Superbowl Nachos.
Many thanks to Franks and French’s for making this Sunday night a winner regardless of which over-paid, under-educated, celebrity filled company/club actually scores the most points. GO TEAM!
*sorry, got a bit politically sarcastic there. I’m sure that Ol’ Trumpy will turn out to be a master of political subtlety and become the very model of diplomacy surpassed only by Kim Jong-il in his ability to be loved by his home nation. Or then again…