Former NFL cornerback Eddie Jackson, now a chef and MVP on the Food Network, offers a Super Bowl-worthy recipe from his cookbook, "Game-Day Eats: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro" (Harper Design).
Eddie Jackson's Cajun Sticky Wings
25 minutes (plus 30 minutes to 24 hours marinating time)
30 to 45 minutes
4 to 6
Cajun Sticky Wings:
2 pounds chicken wings
3 Tablespoons Texas Heat Rub (see below)
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1/3 cup Louisiana hot sauce
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
About 6 cups (1.4 liters) canola oil, for deep-frying
1 scallion, green parts only, thinly sliced, for serving
Texas Heat Rub:
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1. Make the Texas Heat Rub. Use a fork to combine all of the ingredients. This rub can keep up to 6 months in an airtight glass container (such as a mason jar).
2. Prepare the wings. Rinse the chicken wings under cold water; then pat dry with paper towels. Make sure the wings are completely dry, then break the wings down.
3. In a large bowl, combine the wings with 2 tablespoons of the rub and the cornstarch and toss until the wings are fully coated. Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight before frying.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine the sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, butter, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of rub and bring everything to a simmer over medium heat, just until the butter melts. Whisk to combine the butter into the sauce. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and set aside.
5. Set a wire rack in a sheet pan. Pour 6 inches of oil into an 8-quart Dutch oven and bring the oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit over medium heat. Working in batches, carefully slide the wings into the hot oil and fry until lightly cooked, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked wings to the wire rack. While frying keep an eye on the oil temperature and adjust the heat accordingly to keep the oil at 325 degree Fahrenheit.
6. Once all the wings have been through the first fry, increase the heat to bring the oil temperature to 376 degrees Fahrenheit. Working in batches, carefully slide the wings back into the oil and cook until the wings turn golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the twice-fried wings to the bowl with the reserved sauce and toss to coat. Set the coated wings on a wire rack. You can keep the wings warm by placing the wire rack in a 170 degree Fahrenheit oven (or your lowest oven setting) for up to an hour-and-a-half.
7. Sprinkle the scallions over the wings and serve hot.
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