Chili & Chicken Wings For Sunday's Big Game

By Executive Chef Justin Wangler 
In: Recipes

We know that fans from Pittsburgh and Green Bay are excited for the Big Game on Sunday. But if you’re anything like me then you’ll probably be surrounded by friends to watch these two classic football franchises compete for the championship.

And what makes a football game more exciting than having good food around? Two of my favorite foods to eat during the Big Game are chili and chicken wings. Pair those with some Kendall-Jackson wines and it almost doesn’t matter who wins the game.

So, as you’re getting ready to watch football all weekend long, go beyond just the basic chips and dip and serve up your friends and family something they won’t forget.

Chicken Wings
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

  • 3 lbs. chicken wing pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) cold butter, cubed


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Once hot, place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the chicken wings, oil and salt and toss well. Carefully, pour the wings on the hot sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes* or until golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Halfway through, flip the wings once.
  4. Remove the wings from the oven and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the Frank’s Red Hot sauce and butter and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Toss until thoroughly coated and butter is melted.
  6. Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks on the side.

*We used a convection oven. A standard oven may take longer. Please ensure wings are thoroughly cooked.

For the blue cheese dip

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 4 ounces Pt. Reyes blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • White pepper
  • Tabasco sauce


  1. In small bowl, add the mayonnaise, buttermilk and sour cream and whisk well.
  2. Add the blue cheese and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the salt and a pinch of white pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce.
  4. Chill until ready to serve. This dip can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Beef Chili

This simple and delicious beef chili recipe is great paired with Zinfandel and football. To save time, you can omit the bean step and add 2 cans of rinsed cooked beans in the last 30 minutes of cooking. I like to serve this with sour cream, chopped onions, diced tomatoes and grated cheese on the side. If you like a little extra spice, pickled jalapeños are a nice touch.


  • 1 lb. beans (black or kidney), rinsed and picked through for rocks
  • 3 quarts water
  • 8 dried pasilla chiles
  • 8 dried negro chiles
  • 4 dried arbol chiles
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 5 lbs. medium-diced chuck roast
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, medium diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 28 ounces canned tomatoes, diced
  • 49 ounces (or 1 large can), beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a large pot, add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and allow to sit for 1 hour.
  2. In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the chiles for approximately 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant and softened. Remove from heat, discard the seeds and stems and rough chop. Place chiles in a bowl and add hot water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Puree in blender and reserve.
  3. In a large pot over high heat, add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Medium-dice the beef, season with salt and pepper. Add the beef and sear, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove beef from pan and reserve, reduce heat to medium and add onions. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic, jalapenos, oregano and cumin and cook for 4 additional minutes.
  6. Add the beans,  meat, chili puree, tomatoes, beef broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
  7. Cover and cook for 2 hours or until beans and beef are tender, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning and serve.