Here in Georgia, it seems we can’t get enough of football. That’s why it’s a sure bet that many Walton Gas customers will join about a third of the nation’s population — an estimated 115 million people — to watch Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. For many, though, the day’s gridiron matchup in Minneapolis will play second string to the real star of the game… food.
Football fans will nosh their way through the game at more than 25 million Super Bowl parties this year, a National Retail Federation study predicts. By the time the battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy ends, party-goers will have packed away a feast amounting to the year’s second-highest food consumption day, topped only by Thanksgiving.
What’s on the menu at these super shindigs? Chicken wings — and lots of them! Last year, chicken wings eclipsed pizza as the most-consumed food during the game. The National Chicken Council estimates more than 1.33 billion wings will be gobbled on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s an average of four wings per American!
FUN FACT: 1.33 billion chicken wings weigh about 166 million pounds —338 times more than the combined weight of all 32 NFL teams.
That fowl fact is good news for the more than 100,000 Georgians employed in the poultry industry. Georgia leads all states in chicken production. Our state produces 26 million pounds of chicken each day, which amounts to a whopping 7 billion pounds annually. From farms to processing to allied industries, poultry packs a powerful economic punch, adding $38 billion to Georgia’s economy, according to the Georgia Poultry Federation.
Game day is synonymous with grilling for many. Super Bowl Sunday is the seventh most popular grilling day of the year. This year, you can get your grill on to make no-fuss, no-mess grilled chicken wings.
Here’s your Game Day Playbook for making these savory meat appetizers, according to the gas grilling experts at Char-Broil:
- Purchase about 5 pounds of wings, either whole or separated.
- Prep a baking sheet with two layers of aluminum foil. The first layer should fit the sheet tightly. The second should just lay on top of it.
- If you bought whole wings, cut them up into smaller pieces. You’ll be cutting through two joints. Cut through the joint that connects to the wing tip first. Discard the tip. Then cut the wing in half through the other joint, which is between the middle section and the drummette.
- Put the wings on the baking sheet and cover them with a light coating of oil. Season both sides with salt, pepper and onion powder.
- Preheat your gas grill to medium. Too much heat will char the outside of your wings while leaving the inside undercooked. Let the grill heat up for about 15 minutes. Discard the top layer of foil from the baking sheet.
- Now it’s time to cook the wings. Put them on the grill and reduce the burners to medium/medium-low.
- Cook the wings for about 20 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a digital meat thermometer. Poultry needs to be cooked to 165°F.
- Remove the wings and place them on the baking sheet to rest.
- Once the wings have finished on the grill, sauce them with different flavors — buffalo, barbecue, peachy mango jerk sauce. Simply toss the wings with your sauce in a large bowl. Then enjoy!