On December 31, 2013 we stood at the precipice of formative experience. One year and 365 chili recipes later, we have gained this wisdom: Happiness is a byproduct of making great decisions. It is decidedly of great importance to take great care in deciding what is important. More to the point, consider this- white collar criminals are indicted for their activities at work. The rest of us are left to be condemned for how we spend our free time. As much as chili365 the website has been a means to assemble an odd-ball and (too often) blithe cookbook oozing with budget-friendly and diet-razing chili recipes, it has also served to quietly chronicle a year in the life of an unremarkably peculiar family. Further, the final aggregate of this year-long process has served as a (mostly) welcome tocsin. Viewing the experience from the privileged vantage of having survived it, I imagine that I am experiencing the same sort of awe-struck astonishment a sculptor suffers when he steps back from his creation only to realize that his hands have hewn an effigy very distantly tangential to his intended subject matter. All 365 recipes are here, let there be no ambiguity, we have doggedly (and sometimes in spite of our better judgment) accomplished our goal. My growing sense is that rather than standing as a monument to chili kick-assedry, that chili365 will serve as a testament to my own state of being far too self-absorbed.
The year 2014 is now spent and there springs a new happiness in being ‘condemned’ to remember what is truly important. The most important people are those who surround you. The most important time is now. The most important thing to do is take care of those around you- right now. Right now, that means making Chili Buffalo Chicken Wings for my favorite people, my little involuntary tasters.
3 lb chicken wings, cut into 2 sections (well technically 3, but the tip is thrown away)
1 C flour
1 T chili powder
1 t paprika
1 t garlic pepper seasoning
½ t cumin
Bacon fat or cooking oil, enough in which to fry wings.
5 T butter
3 T red wine vinegar
3 T Louisiana hot sauce
1 T chili powder
- In a 1 gallon zip lock bag, mix flour, chili powder, paprika, garlic pepper, and cumin.
- Add wings and shake to coat.
- Fry in hot oil on both sides (unless you have a gigundo pan, you’ll need to perform this Herculean feat in two shifts).
- Place fried wings on a baking sheet and heat at 350F in the oven while you prep the sauce.
- For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot then add remaining sauce ingredients stirring well.
- Remove baking sheet of wings from the oven and coat the wings with the sauce.
- Place the coated wings back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Chili Jr, Pre, and The Pirate were noticeably impressed with the outcome of the recipe. All three agreed that I had saved the best chili for last. Mrs. Chili 365 doesn’t eat wings, but she amiably soldiered through. Imagine that.