Truth be told, I don't know much about football. But if there's one thing I can get behind, it's the food that goes along with the fanfare. While everyone's gathered around the screen, you'll find me making a strategic play at the snacking table. And one of the things I'll be piling high on my plate is chicken wings, in all their bone-licking glory.
The beauty of wings is that no matter which way you make them—baked, broiled, braised, or fried—they're pretty hard to get wrong. Once you've got those flats and drumettes cooked, all they need is a high-intensity, flavor-packing sauce. Buffalo is the perennial favorite, of course. But there are countless other spicy, sweet, and savory possibilities that are just as appropriate for a sports-watching party.
In advance of the big game, here are 11 wing recipes that will please each and every type of palate, from the heat-loving to the chile-averse. If wings aren't your Super Bowl appetizer of choice, no worries. Just head on over to our Super Bowl recipe headquarters to find tons of other snack recipes for the big game. Visit our friends at CBS Sports for the need-to-know Super Bowl information this year.
Header image and recipe for Slow Cooker Hot Wings from CHOW.
Classic Buffalo wings don’t need a whole lot of fuss. In fact, they don’t even need a deep-fryer. These babies get crispy by simply sitting under the broiler. Just toss them in a simple, two-ingredient Buffalo sauce and you’re good to go.
Photo and recipe from CHOW
2. Jerk Chicken Wings
One of the pleasures of wings is getting to nibble the meat straight off the bone. But this also demands a flavor that penetrates straight to the core. Jerk spice has just the right intensity to keep you bone-licking till the last bite.
Photo and recipe from Martha Stewart
3. Panang Curry Chicken Wings
Think of these as chicken wings that just got back from a semester in Southeast Asia: They’re still the good old friend you know at heart, but there’s something a bit more cultured and well-traveled about them on the outside.
Photo and recipe from Lady and Pups
4. Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings
Wings don’t have to be spicy—they can be savory, too. These crispy delights are coated in garlic, herbs, and Parmesan cheese, for a triple-threat flavor bomb.
Photo and recipe from Steamy Kitchen
5. Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Sometimes, it helps to have a little sweetness, like with these caramel-y brown-sugar wings. The accompanying red pepper and goat cheese dip keeps things intriguing, offering a tangy alternative to standard-issue blue cheese and ranch.
Photo and recipe from Damn Delicious
6. Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Honey Garlic Hot Sauce
If there's one caveat to wings, it's that you're likely to feel more than a little weighed down after having one too many. By baking them, you can reduce that gut-busting feeling. Just don't skimp on the sauce.
Photo and recipe from Recipe Tin Eats
Maple syrup and mustard make for a sauce that is both sticky and succulent. Bring extra napkins for this one.
Photo and recipe from CHOW
8. Singaporean Chicken Rice Wings
It’s not that wings aren’t perfect on their own, it’s just that sometimes a little extra stuffin’ takes things that much further. These gingery wings are bursting at the seams, both literally and flavor-wise.
Photo and recipe from Food Republic
9. Filipino Chicken Adobo Wings
Filipino adobo is best known as a vinegary, garlicky slow-cooked stew, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be adapted for crispy-skinned wings. This recipe concentrates that irresistible balance of flavors down into a spoon-coating glaze.
Photo and recipe from The Meatwave
10. Black Bean Chicken Wings
A good braise can work wonders on wing meat, producing tender, pull-apart pieces. These wings go for a swim in Chinese-style black bean sauce, which also adds a healthy dose of umami flavor.
Photo and recipe from Appetite for China
11. Old Bay Hot Wings
That’s right: Old Bay Seasoning isn’t just for the crabs. As Marylanders know, the stuff tastes great on almost everything, and wings are no exception.
Photo and recipe from Food & Wine
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.