Spring has sprung, and that means it picnic season is upon us. Bust out the blankets, hammocks and picnic baskets — but don’t sacrifice your spicy hot wings for bland and traditional picnic snacks like sandwiches and trail mix. Instead, try mixing up your picnic basket with a few spicy hot new foods.
One simple thing you can do is to try eating your buffalo wings cold (as opposed to hot.) Since no one likes eating lukewarm chicken wings, you can try just keeping them in a cooler; that way, they’ll be nice and cold for a warm day. However, not all of us have coolers — if you’re lacking such a grand convenient invention the best thing you can do is to wrap them in foil and then wrap them in newspaper, which is a surprisingly decent insulator.
Another good chicken wing recipe for picnics is also very simple. For this one, cut chicken wings into two parts, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill or roast them until crisp and golden. Whisk together mustard, honey and lemon juice, and toss with warm wings. Chill overnight. This one is not super spicy, so it will be better for those chicken wing lovers who can’t handle the fire.
Buffalo chicken dip is another easy thing to make ahead of time to bring to a picnic, although you will probably want to eat it within a few hours so it is still warm. Make the buffalo chicken dip the night before, then heat it up in the microwave before you leave on your picnic, keeping it in a dish that will keep it warm on the drive to your picnic.
To make buffalo chicken dip, you’ll need a wing sauce of your choice, a block of cream cheese, half a cup of ranch or blue cheese dressing, shredded cheese and chicken. Its best if you make your own chicken and then shred it, but you can also use ground chicken. First you’ll need to cook the chicken and shred it if necessary. Then, you’ll need to mix all this with two to three cups of wing sauce. After that, spread the cream cheese on the bottom of a pan, and then spread the ranch and/or blue cheese dressing on top of that. Next, add the chicken and wing sauce mixture, and top the whole thing with shredded cheese. Now comes the cooking: Bake the dip for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the entire mixture is melted through. You can then leave it in the refrigerator until a half an hour before you are going to leave, or you can just cook it once right before you leave for your picnic. If you are in a hurry, you can also cook it in the microwave instead because it doesn’t take as long. (But it generally tastes better when cooked in the oven.)
These are just a few simple quick ideas for chicken wings and other buffalo wing favorites that you can prepare ahead of time and take to a picnic. Just don’t forget something to cool the fire in your mouth and some napkins to clean up the mess!
Written by the staff at Willie’s Pub and Pool. Willie’s has great drink specials and some of the best wings Columbia MO has to offer!