Handy snacking on the gameday menu

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Chicken wings and pizza are old favorites, quick and easy to make and to eat. Here are some tasty variations to consider for serving at a winter get-together with friends.

Spicy Apricot Sesame Wings

1/3 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 cup apricot jam

2 pounds chicken wings, split and tips discarded

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees or prepare grill.

Stir together hot sauce, mustard, sesame oil and vinegar in small measuring cup. Spoon 1/4 cup of this hot sauce mixture and the apricot jam into blender or food processor. Cover; process until smooth. Reserve for basting and dipping sauce.

Place wings in large bowl. Pour remaining hot sauce mixture over wings; toss to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes.

Place wings in baking pan, and discard any remaining marinade. Bake 1 hour at 425 degrees until fully cooked and crispy, turning halfway. Brush with 1/4 cup of the sauce during last 10 minutes of cooking.

OR place wings on oiled grid and discard any remaining marinade. Grill over medium heat 30 to 40 minutes until crispy and no longer pink, turning often. Brush with 1/4 cup of the sauce during last 10 minutes of cooking.

Place wings on serving platter; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with remaining sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Buffalo-Style Chicken Pizza

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/3 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce

2 tablespoons melted butter

One 12-inch unbaked pizza crust

1 cup pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup ranch or bleu cheese salad dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine chicken, hot cayenne sauce and butter. Place pizza crust on baking sheets. Spread with pizza sauce and top with chicken mixture, cheese and celery; dividing evenly.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Drizzle with dressing. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken Kabobs with Thai Dipping Sauce

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 small cucumber, seeded and cut into small chunks

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup teriyaki baste and glaze sauce

1/3 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted

2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat broiler or prepare grill.

Thread chicken, cucumber, tomatoes and onions alternately onto metal skewers; set aside.

To prepare Thai Dipping Sauce, combine teriyaki baste and glaze sauce, cayenne pepper sauce, peanut butter, orange juice concentrate and garlic; mix well. Reserve 2/3 cup sauce for dipping.

Brush skewers with some remaining sauce. Place skewers on broiler pan and broil 6 inches from heat for about 10 minutes, turning and basting often with remaining sauce.

OR place skewers on oiled grid. Grill over hot coals for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center, turning and basting often with remaining sauce.

Serve skewers with Thai Dipping Sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

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