Wing It On!

Everyone loves wings, right? Oh, my bad, people with sophisticated tastes may not, but they probably wouldn’t stoop to join in this bag of fun. That would be a tragedy because, in my professional opinion, this could be one of the most creative and complex kaleidoscope of flavor anyone could ever dream of.

What you ask? I am getting to that.

Going out to dinner with friends is a delicious time, but it can be expensive, and you may not be in a setting that will allow you to really bond and communicate with everyone at the table.  While I am a huge advocate for supporting local businesses and stimulating our local economy, sometimes I just want to hear about why my friend’s neighbor got arrested at the Super Saver on Sunday morning without having to wave a server down for another Old Fashioned.

Chicken and Pickle is fun and yum, but have you tried Wing It On with Ping Pong?  I didn’t think so.  You may want to “favorite” this in your browser because this is a party idea that will turn into an annual event.

This weekend, me and some of my amazing friends decided we needed to get together.  I suggested a wing night with ping pong. Not the wing night where you drop a paycheck’s worth on over-priced chain-restaurant wings, but where each friend was pushed to their culinary creative limits to Wing It On with their best rubs and marinades for the succulent dark meat finger food treat. If they couldn’t handle the pressure of rising to the wing challenge, they could bring a side dish to cleanse our flavor-dominated palettes. 

Crafting the perfect wing may seem easy. Fry the wing, roll it around in some sauce, ta-dah. Wrong. See, only the weak stoop to that level. Our wing game is strong in my pack. We have already done the Hot One’s Challenge on a bored whim. This Wing It On night forced us to dig deep into the Pinterest boards, the American Test Kitchen recipe books, and the Steve Reichland’s, the grill master secrets.

Everyone came to the Wing It On night, proud of their accomplishments, nervously hoping their quest for excellence had not been for nothing. For me, I had never made homemade wings.  I have made fried chicken, but never wings. Originally, I had wanted to try a raspberry-habanero wing, but I didn’t know how the flavor combo would turn out with the sauce I had.  So, I was inspired by a friend who brought his lemon pepper wings to my first wing night.  I decided to try my own. 

I found a couple of recipes on Pinterest. I used one as a base, and Dannified it. I made a lemon pepper wing rub, with a lemon-butter-garlic sauce to toss.  I wasn’t sure how my meats turned out, so hungrily, I sampled one before submitting it to the contest. The tender meat was the perfect combination of succulent and lemony, finishing with a punch of buttery garlic.  My mouthful of heaven must of left me smacking and sloppy because when I looked up the neighbors were staring me down from across the street…nearly stopping their dog-walking activities. I am sure they were just jealous from the buttery drizzle left on my face.  The aroma penetrating the air from the gas grill probably made them want to suddenly introduce themselves.  Not today.

We had the gas grill, fire pit, and oven searing our masterpiece meats. Beers were drank, sample meats were shared and tested, silly puns were created, and we all laughed, reminisced, and caught up on our crazy busy lives. After all the grilling was done and the wings were devoured, we voted on who had our favorite wing.  I picked up some affordable prizes from my favorite discount store and awarded the first, second, and third-place wing winners.

Next, meat sweats are real and the best way to burn them off is with a ping pong tournament!   My boyfriend has a ping pong table, and we battled it out to work off our feast.  Needless to say it was one of the most fun parties we have had.  Not only did we have delicious food, but we cooked together, bonding over the love of meat and drink, and it was a huge savings.

My bag of frozen wings cost $9.98 for 5 pounds. I had all the ingredients needed for my lemon pepper rub and sauce. My three prizes cost a total of $15. I had a box of brownies in the pantry that I whipped up that cost $1. Overall, it was a pretty simple and affordable night. Everyone brought their own drinks and camping chairs. Simple, fun, and affordable night in with your friends is not only doable for a busy person, but it’s essential for your mental health!

I hope this blog has inspired you to try your own Wing It On with Ping Pong night.  Stay tuned for the Dannified recipe for my Garlic Lemon Pepper wings.

Until next time,

Danna

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