Photo: Kate Bernot

The last time the New York Giants played in the Super Bowl—longer ago than I’d like—I decided to host a viewing party, so confident was I in their prospects against the cheatin’ New England Patriots. My confidence, it turned out, was well founded. But as I began planning a menu of snacks and drinks for the party, my first call was to my mom: “Can I have your wings recipe?”

Decades later, and I still remember these wings from my childhood. My mom Linda served them for parties in a yellow Tupperware-brand bowl that seemed to me at the time roughly the size of a playground sandbox. And still, they were always gone fast.

What’s the secret? It’s not 11 herbs and spices. In fact, the recipe calls for just six ingredients, chicken included. The only one some people wouldn’t have on hand is dry mustard; I’m pretty sure my lazy, early-20s self just used a squirt of regular prepared mustard instead. No, the appeal is the non-barbecue or buffalo-flavored sauce, a sweet-tangy mix that’s garlicky, soy sauce rich, and brown sugar-sweet. It checks all the salty-sweet-savory boxes, and because the wings are not spicy, I can eat as many of them as I please without fear of sweating.

If you’re having a backyard party that needs a non-barbecue snack, these are the ticket. Just make sure to have a giant enough bowl ready.

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Photo: Kate Bernot

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Linda’s Hell Yeah Chicken Wings

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sherry (Mom says it’s okay to use the cheap stuff)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 5 lbs. chicken wings, cut at the joint

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix first five ingredients, then toss with chicken wings. Pour wings and sauce into a foil-lined baking pan (you’ll thank me later) so wings are in one even layer.

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Bake for at least 50 minutes, turning wings once, until glaze is sticky but not burnt. Baste wings with extra sauce from the baking dish and serve.

Suggested pairing: Linda’s Red Sangria.

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