Sunday Recipe: Chef Dad's Football Finger Foods

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Chef Dad's BBQ Baked Wings

4 lbs. Chicken Wings (thawed*)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 Cup BBQ Sauce (your favorite brand)

1) Pre heat oven to 400 degrees with your oven rack in the 2nd position from the top. 
2) Rinse thawed chicken with cold water then pat dry with paper towels.  In a large bowl, combine wings with olive oil and toss then sprinkle on the salt, chili powder & pepper.  Toss well to coat.  You can do this the night before if you'd like.
3) You'll need a large baking pan that is lined with foil. Spread wings across the pan so they don't crowd each other and bake evenly.  Put in the oven for 45 minutes. 
4) When the wings are almost done baking, melt your butter & BBQ sauce together in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer for just one minute and stir well to combine.  Turn off heat and cover until wings are finished cooking. 
5) After wings have baked for 45 minutes, check to see if they are nicely browned.  If not, let them go another 5 minutes.
6) Remove from oven and put the wings on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess fat then into your pan with the sauce.  Toss together to coat the wings then serve. 

* Some stores sell fresh/thawed chicken wings in their meat department, but most have them only available in the freezer section.  Each 2 pounds of wings will only feed 2-3 people, so plan accordingly.  If you buy them frozen, let thaw in your fridge overnight or you can thaw then quickly by putting them in a large bowl of tap water for about 35-45 minutes.  Don't use hot water, just room temp tap water.  Just remember to dry them off with paper towels before adding the oil & seasonings.

Cooks Note: You can double or triple this recipe if you're cooking for a crowd, but make sure you don't overcrowd the baking rack & pan otherwise the chicken won't cook thoroughly & brown well.  Finally, if your chicken starts browning early, take them out of the oven and turn wings over then put back in the oven.

Chef Dad's Bacon Wrapped Smokie's

1 pkg. Lil' Beef Smokies (usually found in the meat department)
1 lb. pkg. Bacon (pieces cut into thirds)
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp. White Vinegar

1) After cutting your bacon into thirds, wrap each smokie with it then place seam side down, side by side in a 9x13 glass casserole dish. 
2) Whisk together your brown sugar and cayenne then sprinkle over the top of your smokies.  Now drizzle your vinegar over that and cover with stretch wrap.  Put in your fridge for at least 4 hours and up to overnight before baking.  When ready to cook these, you need to put them on a baking rack sitting inside a baking pan that's lined with foil.  You might want to spray the baking rack with cooking spray to make sure they don't stick to it.  You can cook them in the casserole dish if you have to, but increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.  When done, put them on paper towels to drain the excess fat. 
3) Preheat your oven to 375 then bake them for 45-50 minutes.  Remove from oven and move into a crock pot on the "Keep Warm" setting.  Leave your guests some toothpicks to grab them with. 

Cooks Notes: BBQ sauce on the side makes a nice dip for these.

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