By SHANNON WATKINS
Let’s say you’ve had a rough couple of weeks, and you’re throwing a very informal party to catch up on “The Walking Dead” with your friends via Netflix.
Actually let’s say you’ve had maybe an OK couple of weeks personally, but on the level of witnessing local, national and global events unfold with horror and grief, you’ve had the kind of two weeks that make watching desperate survivors struggle through a postapocalyptic wasteland while being chased by ravenous zombies seem positively relaxing.
But anyway, you need to feed the hordes. Maybe you’re throwing a potluck (wise move) but of course as a good host or hostess, you want to give them something toothsome and lipsmacking, something they can really gnaw at while sitting on your couch. Something any self-respecting zombie would appreciate.
Clearly your best survival tactic here is a big platter of spicy-sweet chicken wings.
Chicken wings almost make you understand how the living dead must feel; is there anything quite like that tasty combination of meat and fat and skin? They’re also about half bones anyway, a useful thing to tell anyone who points out that you just horfed down 30 in one sitting.
You can get frozen BBQ wings and doctor them up, but it’s not much harder to make them from scratch. You can buy whole wings cheaper if you like thwacking them into separate portions yourself—and if you’re really a fan of zombie shows, that might be up your alley—or have the meat department do it for you if they’re in the mood, or just pay a little more for the kind that are already separated.
If you’re expecting a couch full of avid hungry undead fans who want something to chomp on as soon as possible, however, this is the way to go. You can get them marinating a day ahead with minimal effort, which is handy. Also bear in mind one recipe makes about two helpings; depending on how many people will be lurching around the buffet and what everyone else is bringing, you’ll want to double, triple, etc. the amount.
This recipe comes from Gabi Moskowitz’s excellent “BrokeAss Gourmet,” which is both a food blog and a cookbook (http://brokeassgourmet.com; “books” link at the top takes you where you can purchase her cookbooks). Sriracha is what’s sometimes referred to as ‘rooster sauce’ and generally you can find it in the Asian section of your grocery stores.
Brown Sugar-Sriracha Chicken Wings
1/8 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup sriracha sauce
4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 ½ pounds chicken wings
Mix together the first 5 ingredients and toss with chicken wings. Marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. My preferred method, incidentally, is to throw everything in a gallon-sized freezer bag and just smush it all around so it’s mixed and the wings are coated.
When you’re ready, preheat the oven to 400F and cover as many cookie sheets as you think you’ll need with foil, then spray with Pam. Spread the wings in an even layer on the pans and pour the leftover sauce into a small pot on the stovetop. Bake the wings for 15 minutes on one side, pull out, flip over, and bake for another 7 – 8 minutes.
Meanwhile bring the marinade to boil over medium-high heat, to kill any bacteria or zombie viruses, and lower to a simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens and becomes syrupy.
You can brush the marinade over the wings again when they’re done, or just let everyone spoon a little over theirs as they choose. Your living room will be filled with faces dripping dark reddish sauce, moaning and biting and demanding more. Good job! Just don’t run out of wings…