Planning a Super Bowl party doesn’t have to be difficult. Throw a wing-ding of a party by preparing America’s favorite Super Bowl snack: wings. According to the National Chicken Council, 1.35 billion chicken wings are on the menu for Sunday’s showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. And whether you like your side dip sweet, tangy, or spicy, we promise you two things. There are plenty of wings to go around and we’ve got just the right chicken wing recipes for the big game.
First, a little chicken 101. A chicken has two wings. The wing is divided into three parts—the wing tip (or flapper) is typically exported out of the U.S., while the “drumette” and “flat” are sold as what we know and love as wings.
And, yes, that’s a lot of chickens producing over a billion wings. Never fear, the rest of the chicken feeds our love for favorite weeknight dinner recipes like fried chicken, roast chicken, and chicken and dumplings.
Here are some fun facts about how many chicken wings Americans will eat during the Super Bowl. Line them up, and 1.35 billion wings are enough to circle the Earth three times. Or if you wanted to give every football fan a basket of wings, 1.35 billion is enough for every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums to have 625 wings. (We’re gonna need a bigger basket.)
When it comes to the dip or sauce we like with our wings, ranch is hands down the most popular with 59 percent of Americans preferring it. Buffalo or hot sauce and BBQ sauce are tied for second place, with each kind of sauce coming in at 48 percent. Honey mustard is next at 35 percent, followed by blue cheese dressing at 33 percent. International flavors are at the bottom of the list, with teriyaki sauce at 23 percent and sriracha at 15 percent.
No, those numbers don’t add up to 100, because we’re Americans and we like more than one kind of sauce at a time, please. Except for eight percent of folks, who eat wings with nothing at all on the side.
Wings and Football: A Perfect Pair
Wings and football are a time-honored tradition. The snack was first cooked with the famous peppery hot sauce in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Co-owner Teressa Bellissimo cooked leftover wings in hot sauce as a late-night snack for her son and his friends, and their rave reviews convinced the Bellissimos to put immediately add them to the menu, thus coining the term buffalo wings.
Then in the 1980s, sports bars with multiple TVs and satellite hookups became more common. And because Americans were mostly eating chickens as boneless-skinless breast meat at the time, the by-product in the form of wings became an inexpensive food for these bars to serve. Eating more buffalo wings equaled drinking more beer, plus wings were easy to share, so the best pigskin/chicken combination since chicken bacon ranch pizza was born.
About 25 percent of Super Bowl watchers will get their wings from the grocery store, while the rest of the crowd buys theirs from restaurants and bars. If you’re ready to wing your game day snacks with some recipes of your own, we’ve got a few that are perfect for the big game.
For your Super Bowl snacks, here’s a sweet and classic combo that everyone will like: Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings.
Some spice for the more adventurous eaters at your party: Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings.
In case you’re already missing SEC Saturdays, here’s one of our best chicken wing recipes: Grilled Chicken Wings with Alabama White Sauce.