You might be hosting a big Super Bowl party this weekend, or maybe you’re just looking for a few new party-friendly recipes to add to your stash.
This trio of dishes can be made to feed whatever crowd you’re serving. The spinach artichoke dip can also be used as a pasta sauce; the chicken wings are a nice change of pace from the spicy buffalo sauce that usually coats them; and that French onion soup, though laborious, will wow anyone with taste buds.
Chicken Wings with Maple Syrup
Chicken drumsticks are often relegated to kids’ meals, perhaps a notch up from chicken tenders. This is a surprisingly winning and simple preparation — and a nice change from your typical teriyaki marinade — upgraded for easier eating by trimming. Why trim the drumstick ends? Because doing so makes them easy and neat to pick up and eat. As the chicken legs roast, the tendons that are no longer attached to the ends will retract. You can cover the exposed bones with aluminum foil, avoiding sticky fingers. Keep this recipe in mind as a meaty snack for watching football. The chicken needs to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
— Bonnie S. Benwick
1 teaspoon dried sage (may substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good-quality maple syrup
4 tablespoons cranberry sauce or relish
2 pounds chicken drumsticks (lower leg only)
Use a sharp chef’s knife or cleaver to cut off the end (ankle) of each drumstick. Discard them. (This step is optional.)
Place the drumsticks in a gallon-size zip-top bag, along with the cranberry sauce or relish, maple syrup, oil, a four-fingered pinch each of the salt and pepper and the sage. Seal and massage through the bag to coat evenly. Lay the bag in a glass or ceramic baking dish that’s large enough to hold the drumsticks in a single layer. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature, turning the bag over a few times, or refrigerate up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Open and pour the contents of the bag into the baking dish, arranging the drumsticks in a single layer. Turn to coat with all the sauce you can extract from the bag. Roast (top rack) for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, using tongs to turn the drumsticks about halfway through the oven time. Serve warm. Serves 4.
— Adapted from “Harvest: 180 Recipes Through the Seasons” curated by Emilie Guelpa (Hardie Grant, $19.99)
Four-Cheese Artichoke Dip — or Pasta Sauce
This artichoke dip could be used as a dip or, if thinned slightly, a pasta sauce. “Stock the Crock” author Phyllis Good recommends using the spinach only if you’re making it as a pasta sauce, but you can use it or leave it out of both, if you like.
2 (14-ounce) cans water-packed artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped (drain one can; reserve the liquid from the other can to add to the dip)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon seeded, chopped jalapeño
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach (optional)
Tortilla chips or freshly cooked pasta, for serving
Fresh topper: sliced green onions, optional
To serve as a dip: Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Combine the artichoke hearts and next 10 ingredients, through garlic powder, in the prepared slow cooker.
Cover. Cook on low for 1 hour, or until the cheeses are melted and the dip is heated through. Top with green onions, if desired. Serve from the cooker with tortilla chips.
To serve as a pasta sauce: Combine the first 11 ingredients as stated above, but use a 5-quart slow cooker. Thaw 2 (10-ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach. Squeeze the spinach dry. Stir it into the mixture. You might need to cook an additional 30 minutes if needed to heat the sauce through. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to thin to desired consistency.
Serve over rotini, cavatappi or another twisty pasta that will catch and hold the creamy vegetables. Makes 7 to 10 cups.
— From “Stock the Crock: 100 Must-Have Slow-Cooker Recipes, 200 Variations for Every Appetite” by Phyllis Good (Oxmoor House, $21.99)
French Onion Soup
At his M. Wells restaurants in New York City, Quebec native Hugue Dufour espouses a more-is-more approach to food. For instance, he amps up his French onion soup with brown ale and slab bacon. One thing he keeps traditional: The blanket of molten, gooey Gruyère cheese on top. This recipe isn’t anything close to a weeknight soup, but if you have some time to kill this weekend ahead of the big game, the quantity will certainly feed a crowd.
2 lbs. lean slab bacon, in one piece
1 whole pig’s foot or 2 halves
8 large yellow onions, peeled (1 left whole and 7 sliced 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Two 12-oz. bottles brown ale
6 rosemary sprigs
12 oz. rustic bread, cubed
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1/2 lb.)
In a large pot, cover the bacon, pig’s foot and whole onion with 2 gallons of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the foot is tender, 3 1/2 hours. Strain the broth and return it to the pot, reserving the bacon and pig’s foot.
Boil the broth until reduced to 2 quarts, about 25 minutes; skim off the fat or refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat. Remove all the lean meat from the bacon and pig’s foot, cut into bite-size pieces and reserve.
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the rendered pork fat or vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the onions are very soft, 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.
Return the pot to the burner. Add the strained broth, the ale and 4 of the rosemary sprigs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the soup thickens. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, until no floury taste remains. Add the reserved meat and season the soup with salt and pepper. Discard the rosemary sprigs.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, garlic and the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the croutons are crisp. Discard the rosemary and garlic.
Heat the broiler. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and serve. Serves 10.
— From “Master Recipes: A Step-By-Step Guide to Cooking Like a Pro” by the editors of Food & Wine magazine (Oxmoor House, $34.99)