Suzi's Blog

Why the Super Bowl Matters for Foodies — and Important News on the Chicken Wings Front

Chicken Wings

The Super Bowl has been a side topic here for the past week, and I hope you understand. Suzen and I are true football fans, New York Giant fans, and it all comes together for us this exceptional weekend. For Americans as a society, the Super Bowl has become the dominant sporting event. [I know, there’s this thing called the World Cup and I would care about it, too, if you could just tackle and use your hands!].While the Super Bowl is on, nationally the crime rate plummets, traffic throttles to trickle, and the nation is focused as perhaps in no other four hour period.

If you not a football fan but you are a foodie, the Super Bowl is still a major day for you. Many people watch, not for the game, but for the commercials. Ever since that iconic rollout “1984” ad for the original Macintosh computer — shown on television only once during the 3rd quarter of Super Bowl XVIII in the actual year 1984 — the advertising stakes have gone exponential.

You’ll hear the hype about how much a 30-second slice of airtime costs. This year it is $4 million but the audience is there to support that price point. And, marketing studies conducted after previous Super Bowls have concluded those ad dollars do pay off. At the website, there is this quote:

According to Nielsen, ads that aired during 2011’s Super Bowl XLV were, on average, 58 percent more memorable than commercials airing during regular programming in the first quarter of 2011. In addition, brand awareness for commercials airing during the Super Bowl was up to 275 percent higher than awareness for the same creative during regular programming.

Super Bowl ads have been dominated by cars in recent years, but food advertising runs almost as strong. For example, those Dorito commercials, and the Coke versus Pepsi battles, have had strong buying consequences. The Monday after the Super Bowl, you’ll find major web and newsprint articles on the “good” and the “bad” in those ads. What we see the rest of the year in commercials, even what we see on our grocery store shelves, is affected by the reactions and buying trends demonstrated during the Super Bowl aftermath.

Of course, because so many of us love to watch those commercials, we really don’t have time to cook during the game [or visit the rest room except during the extra long halftime show which is why so many people did NOT see the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.]

This year, the estimate is that $11 billion will be spent on snack foods for the game. That’s the easy solution to ensuring that no score, penalty, or errant piece of clothing is missed.

Here at this blog, we’ve suggest recipes ideas that are really better than “snack food” and will delight you and the others gathered around that extra big television set.

One item we blogged this week was Santa Fe Chicken Wings using the famous Frank’s Hotsauce. Perhaps, not surprisingly, this past week the Tabasco sauce folks, the McIlhenny Company from Louisiana, have rolled out a new product, surprisingly called Tabasco Buffalo. The two companies are engaged in ad war now that is costing tens of millions. Suzen and I will be searching for a bottle of the new Tabasco product, we’ll give it a try, and we’ll let you know.

Oh, I adamantly said this week that fried wings outdo baked ones. But the new Tabasco Buffalo product offers this recipe where you bake at high temperature for a long time. This week will see a lot of wing testing across America. If I were a chicken, I’d be in hiding.

Buffalo Chicken Wings from Scratch

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


• 3 pounds wings and/or drumettes
• 1 (5-ounce) bottle of Tabasco brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
• Chunky blue cheese dressing (optional)
• Celery sticks (optional)


Bake chicken pieces on foil-lined pan in 425°F oven for one hour or until fully cooked, turning once halfway. In a large bowl, combine TABASCO® Buffalo Style Sauce and melted butter. Toss cooked wings in sauce to coat completely. If desired, serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Super Bowl Idea: Santa Fe Chicken Wings


Of all the chicken wing recipes we’ve posted here, I like this one the best. Sometimes, you just can’t improve on an original, basic recipe and technique. You can, for example, make your own chocolate sandwich cookie, but with Oreos everywhere, why bother?

For your ease with Super Bowl planning, we are happy to make this recipe prominently easy for you to find. It’s right here! These wings are fried and use store-bought sauce. There’s some mess involved then with frying, but there’s no prep work. And the flavor is just what you want in a wing: fire with crunch. Deep-fried wings simply outclass oven-baked. And if you consult the great book Fat, then you know that some fat in our lives is not a luxury but a necessity.

The red sauce here, perhaps the cardinal ingredient, would make any Aztec or Mayan proud. We used Frank’s Original REDHOT sauce, the one specified in the recipe. Frank’s sauces are widely available, and they are terrific products. [Our market has three Frank’s flavors but we were careful to use the original, basic, fire-instigating sauce.]

This is a case where store-bought is just simply better than home made. Plan on enjoying the wings, and please don’t concern yourself with list of ingredients on the back label of the bottle.

Wings do not get better.

Santa Fe Chicken Wings

Yield: 25 Wings


  • Vegetable oil for frying based on your fryer’s instructions
  • 2 ½ pounds (around 25 wings) trimmed and separated
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) hot, melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Frank’s Original REDHOT sauce
  • ¼ cup chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder


Heat the oil in a fryer to 400°F. Deep fry the wings for 12 minutes or until crispy and no longer pink. Drain well.

Combine the melted butter, hot sauce, chile sauce, and chile powder in a small bowl. Mix well.

Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat.


We love our wings drenched. So, for 25 wings we doubled the amount of sauce in the recipe above. Every square inch of our wings was saturated. There was plenty of heat in every bite. And, these thoroughly coated wings were delightful to eat as leftovers the next day.

Source: Wings Across America by Armand Vandersitgchel