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Captain Of The Tailgate: Classic Meal Or Finger Food Wrapped Into One

Are you one of those crazy early morning risers that takes a deep morning inhale of the Cincinnati dew that noticeably leans on top of the freshly cut grass at eight in the morning on Sunday? You smile at the world, put on your best clothes and fire up the automobile for a short trip into the city. As you pass the churches down 75 (or up 75), you see the fog of a city slowly waking through a hazy Sunday morning. But you're a manly man, peering your eyes towards the river like a secret agent on a mission to save the world. You have the package in the back seat that will have a part in saving the world.

Chicken wings.

That's right. Chicken wings. To save the world! Heading to a tailgate before a Sunday afternoon game early in the morning, you have to have food for the energy to survive through the morning, three hours of great NFL football and then the ride home. And let's face facts, you need something to saturate the water fall of adult beverages filling your body, or in some people's cases, a blood transfusion from Type-O Negative to Budweiser.

Why Chicken Wings? Well, wings are useful in a variety of ways. You can dump a plate full of wings down your vacuuming mouth, or you can pick at them, having one here and there. Hell, you can do both. If you don't want to sit down, eat an entire meal at one sitting because of that bloated feeling with the war of spicy foods combating against the sweet taste of malted barley giving your kidneys a high-five on the way down.

Everyone has their methods and their favorites. You can make them spicy or sweet. Crunchy or soft. Boneless or, well, boned. My favorite is boneless, taking a chicken breast, slicing it into the size of your typical wings. After saturating the precooked chicken wing in garlic and seasoned salt, I fry the wings until they're nice and crunchy. Then, after heating the BBQ sauce that was mixed with half-a-jar of honey for 15 minutes, I take the sauce and cake all of it on the wings (if it doesn't look like soup by now, then add more... a lot more), throwing it in the oven for 10 radiating minutes. Keep them heated in an aluminum tub during your early morning fog and become the saving grace of those that don't want to sit for an entire meal, but a tasty enough snack to quickly fill you up.

Next week, my epic ribs.