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This Football Season, Grab Some PB&J And Spread Your Wings

Sep 9, 2013
Originally published on September 10, 2013 5:20 pm

The regular NFL season has officially started, which — for many viewers — means hours of excitement (and angst) fueled by chips and dip, sliders, nachos and, of course, chicken wings.

Sunny Anderson, a personality on the Food Network and author of Sunny's Kitchen: Easy Food For Real Life, is a big fan of wings.

"Wings are great because they're primal. First of all, you're eating with your fingers; you're gnawing meat off the bone, you know what I mean, and there's a good meat-to-skin ratio," she says.

At game time you could reach for the standard spicy buffalo wings or sweet and smoky barbecue wings. But Anderson has created a surprising twist on the original: Spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings.

"It sounds very comforting and sweet and calm, but you're going to tear into it like an animal because it's a wing," she says.

Anderson had previously experimented with a number of peanut butter and jelly recipes and came back to the flavor combination when she was thinking of new ways to do chicken wings. To make the sauce, she combined smooth peanut butter with a little soy sauce to make it salty, added sriracha for spice and turned to grape jelly and coconut cream for the sweetness.

"[I add] a little bit of water to kind of loosen it up so you can toss the wings in it. This is as simple as it gets," she says.

She took the PB&J batch along with a few other different wing varieties to her unofficial test kitchen — Feeney's, a bar on the corner of her block in Brooklyn.

"They're very honest — probably because they have a couple drinks in them," she says. "Before I knew it, everyone was raising their hands and saying, 'These are the wings — these right here.' And when I told them they were peanut butter and jelly wings ... the bar went crazy."

Anderson knew she had a winner that could please almost any football fan.

"These are already tried and true and tested on a bar full of men that are drunk," she says, laughing. "Ladies, follow me to the promised land."


Recipe: Spicy PB&J Wings

A sweet peanut butter and jelly glaze on the lighter side of spicy is just enough to make you want more and forget about two slices of bread.

Serves 4 to 6

Wings

3 pounds chicken wings, whole or separated as you like

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups all-purpose flour

Peanut or vegetable oil

1/2 cup peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped, for garnish

Sauce

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup grape jelly

3/4 cup coconut cream

1/4 cup hot water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the wings on a baking sheet and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Pour the flour in a paper bag or large bowl and toss the wings in batches, then place on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet or on the counter.

For the sauce, in a small pot over medium heat combine the peanut butter, sriracha, soy sauce, jelly, and coconut cream. Slowly whisk in the hot water to loosen the mixture. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then whisk as it thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with a pinch of salt, if needed, and a few grinds of black pepper.

For the wings, pour enough oil in a Dutch oven, large pot, or fryer to deep-fry, about 6 inches, and heat to 360 degrees. When you add your wings, the temperature will settle at 350 degrees. Try to keep it there by adjusting the heat. Fry the wings in batches until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Place some of the sauce in a large bowl and toss the wings in batches, adding more sauce to thoroughly coat. Then place the wings on a serving tray and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve warm.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Time now for a very special Found Recipes.

(SOUNDBITE OF "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" THEME)

CORNISH: The football edition.

(SOUNDBITE OF "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" THEME)

CORNISH: It's the first "Monday Night Football" of the NFL season, a season chock full of excitement and angst, fueled by chips and dip, sliders, nachos and, of course, chicken wings. Sunny Anderson of the Food Network is a fan of wings.

SUNNY ANDERSON: Wings are great because, you know, they're primal. First of all, you're eating with your fingers. You're gnawing meat off the bone, you know what I mean? And there's a good meat-to-skin ratio.

CORNISH: Ha. Meat-to-skin ratio. That's precisely what a carnivore needs when watching enormous men tumble and toss each other. You can go for spicy Buffalo wings or sweet and smoky barbeque wings. Or you try Sunny Anderson's wings, today's Found Recipe with a familiar tasting twist: peanut butter and jelly wings. OK, wait. Give it a chance.

ANDERSON: It sounds very comforting and sweet and calm, but you're going to tear into it like an animal because it's a wing, you know? At one point, I had a boyfriend, and like any boyfriend, the first thing I do is I give them the food quiz: What do you like? What don't you like? Sometimes it can be a deal breaker if they don't like certain things. I just can't imagine cooking without using pork.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: But lucky for him, he liked pork and he loved peanut butter and jelly. And this is where the PB&J wings come from.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ANDERSON: So I have a really cool process when I start off with an idea for a recipe. I make it, and then I take the first batch down to the corner where I live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. And at the corner of my block is bar called Feeney's. They're very honest, probably because they have a couple of drinks in them.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: I took three or four different batches of different wings to the bar. And before I knew it, everyone was raising their hands and saying, these are the wings, these right here. And when I told them they were peanut butter and jelly wings, you would have thought the bar - I mean, forget about it. That's what we say in Brooklyn. Forget about it. The bar went crazy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ANDERSON: You know, you can get those recipes for PB&J wings at npr.org. But what I want to do is concentrate on the sauce because that's what it's all about, all right? There's peanut butter in there that I mix in with a little bit of soy sauce. That's going to add some of that salt for you. Then the spice and the sweet comes from the Sriracha, which is kind of like a spicy ketchup. And then comes more sweet from grape jelly and coconut cream.

And then a little bit of water to kind of loosen it up so you can toss the wings in it. This is as simple as it gets. PB&J wings. These are already tried and true and tested on a bar full of men that are drunk. Ladies, follow me to the promise land.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: That's Sunny Anderson of the Food Network. Her debut cookbook is called "Sunny's Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life." You can get the recipe for her PB&J wings on the Found Recipes page at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.