For many of us, the Super Bowl is just one more reason to eat something we normally wouldn't.
So on Sunday, when the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in Houston (why, yes, I did have to Google all of those facts), my attention will be turned to a super smorgasbord.
Our cover story is a fascinating look at chicken wings, which Americans consume billions of each year, none more so than on Super Bowl Sunday.
Another favorite football food? Sliders. I love the ease and noncommitment of a slider. The small size of the sandwiches (often burgers) means you can make and sample a couple different kinds. They're also less messy, and less likely to make you feel gorged.
I'm suggesting three recipes total to add to your spread — one for each team and one classic, all-American, beer-and-cheese-filled option. Feel free to make all three, and serve on a large table with sides of chips, celery sticks with blue cheese dressing, and a cooler of beer. Oh, and wings.
This one is for the Patriots. A mini spin on the classic New England lobster roll, these sammies are served on 2-inch round soft dinner rolls. Start with the meat from a 1 ½-pound cooked lobster, about 1 cup, and add to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons each mayonnaise and sour cream, 1 tablespoon each minced shallot and finely diced dill pickle, 2 tablespoons finely diced celery, 1 ½ teaspoons minced tarragon and ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest. Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper. (Use white pepper if you have it.) Butter your 8 rolls, then toast them in a skillet butter side down until golden. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of lobster mixture onto each roll and don't be afraid to eat more than one.
Peach Barbecue Chicken Sliders
You can go one of two ways with these chicken sliders, which we've chosen to represent the Atlanta side of things on our Super Bowl buffet. Working with chicken thighs, we're going the pulled chicken route, but you could fry up some chicken breasts as well and serve with the sauce on top. To make the thighs, heat 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Place 6 boneless, skin-on thighs in the pot and cook until cooked through, flipping over to the other side halfway through. When cooked, remove to a plate and shred the chicken with a fork or your fingers. Pour out about half the grease from the pot, then return to the stove and add ½ diced yellow onion, cooking for 2 minutes. Then, add ¾ cup whiskey and stir and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes. Add 6 ounces barbecue sauce of your choice, ½ cup peach preserves of your choice, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and 4 cloves peeled garlic. Cook together for a few minutes, then add the chicken to the pot and let the whole thing simmer on low heat until you're ready to assemble sandwiches. Serve on 2-inch round soft dinner rolls.