You know when you were a kid and you would get in fights with your sister and the two of you would hang a string down the middle of the room to divide it up because my half is my half, and keep out! Soooooo The Boyfriend and I still sort of do that. There isn’t a string involved, but we divvy up the living room on weekends in the fall. He gets the side with the TV and the Football and the Whistles and I get the side with the kitchen and the Podcasts and the Adorably-Insistent-Questions-At-The-Critical-Game-Moment.
But the thing about the string-divider fights was you wanted them over literally the minute that they started. The string went up and suddenly your best friend was a million miles away and there were no other kids on your side of the room and also no means of egress to the bathroom / pantry for provisions and nothing — I mean nothing — will make a girl realize she is about to wet her pants like discovering that she just ceded her only bathroom route to an enemy.
The best way to end a string fight is to just avoid it altogether. If you sat on my couch on Monday night, you would know — based on a series of grunts and shouts and BOB!!!!! — that football season is fast-approaching. Pro preseason is happening now and college football starts in exactly one week. Which means I have exactly one week to unite the living room and kitchen and end string fights forever. (Is it just me, or does that sound like the plot of an early-aughts Mary Kate and Ashley movie? Obviously, it would have to be set in an overseas city, but Lisbon Living Room could have been their next big project… )
Anyway, as MK&A always say, I have a plan. And the plan is chicken wings. This is a peace offering to end the string fight before it ever starts. But a peace offering can’t be just any ol’ wing. These are riffed off The Tavern in Austin, Texas, my family’s go-to spot for football food. At the Tavern, they take a lil’ piece of boneless chicken and a little sliver of jalapeno and they wrap it up in bacon, grill it, and toss it with wing sauce. It is amazing. We all try to re-create them at home. My parents make theirs on the grill and toss with store-bought wing sauce (dad likes the basic vinegary stuff, mom likes hers plain and not too spicy). At the leightogreato kitchen, I make them in the oven and sop them with a 50-50 mix of sriracha and honey. They’re salty, spicy, smokey and crunchy. They can lure almost anyone away from a football game and can bring peace to any war (that might be overstating things, but they can definitely bring peace to any living room).
Bring it on football season. And go Blue! Go Skins*! Hook ’em Horns!
- 1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 thighs)
- 2 packs of bacon (you'll need 16 strips total)
- 3 jalapenos
- 2 T. honey
- 2 T. sriracha
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut each chicken thigh into about 8 equally sized pieces. Cut each strip of bacon into three pieces. Discard the jalapeno seeds and then cut each jalapeno into 16 slivers by cutting each pepper in half long-ways 4 times. So you should have 48 pieces of chicken, 48 pieces of bacon and 48 jalapeño slivers.
- Stir together the honey and sriracha and set aside.
- Assemble the bites by laying out a piece of bacon, laying a jalapeno sliver across the center of the bacon strip (so that they make a cross), place a piece of chicken on top of the jalapeno sliver, and wrap the bacon around the chicken and jalapeno to make a little bundle. Secure the bacon with a toothpick through the bundle. Arrange the bundles on a foil-lined baking sheet so that they aren't touching each other.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Using about half of the honey-sriracha mix, brush the wings. Bake for another 12 minutes or so, until they are browned and the chicken is cooked all the way through. Brush with the remainder of the honey-sriracha mix and serve.
*I am, obviously, in favor of making the Redskins change their name. But until they do, I’m not sure what to call them? Skins? Washington? DC? The-Washington-DC-Team-Formerly-Known-By-A-Racist-Name? I think I’m sticking to Skins for now, but I’m open to suggestions!