Around the country, and the world, millions of people will gather around their television screens to watch one of the greatest competitions in America — who puts out the best Super Bowl commercial. Oh, and a football game will happen.
Many of us will be attending Super Bowl parties, where we’ll be tempted by some truly delicious but fattening foods. Pizza, beer, taco dip, wings. If you’re on a diet, a Super Bowl party is scarier than The Shining. Luckily, there are ways you can tweak some of these classics to make them a lot less daunting to your diet! Specifically, there are many changes you can make to the MVP of any Super Bowl party, hot wings!
Wings and football. Name a more iconic duo. Unfortunately, between the fat and sodium, they’re really bad for you if you overindulge. One 4 oz. wing will cost you around 250 calories. It gets even worse when you add a sauce. So, how can you still have wings at your party, but make them less fattening?
Remove the Skin
The first step is changing how you prepare them. Since the skin on a chicken (or turkey) roughly doubles the calories, removing the skin is actually an easy way to cut down on the fat and calorie count of your wings. You can also cheat a little bit and use chicken breasts. In a sense, you’re now making boneless chicken wings, which are less fatty and have more meat. Depending on how many calories you wish to save, you can even replace the crispy exterior with a spice, panko, flour mixture. This will add calories, but the additional flavor may come in handy later.
The Problem with Hot Sauce
One of the reasons a spice mixture may be useful for your boneless wings is due to the hot sauce. While hot sauce itself isn’t terribly unhealthy (and can actually be a secret weapon for your diet), it’s extremely high in sodium. So, even though one serving of Frank’s RedHot, the gold standard for hot sauce, has 0 calories, it also has 190 mg of sodium, or 8% of your daily intake.
Since a serving size is only a teaspoon, eating about five hot wings would account for 40 percent of your daily intake of sodium in sauce alone. So how can you improve this? A simple way is to use less hot sauce. You don’t need your wings floating in Frank’s to get the burn we all love. There are also many low or no sodium hot sauces out there that you can try.
If you want to use less of your favorite hot sauce without compromising the heat, you could always stick with our boneless wings idea. When you bread the chicken, use spices that’ll add heat without the sodium like cayenne pepper or hot curry powder. These will add some flavor and fire that’ll make up for a more measured hand with the hot sauce.
Looking Beyond the Fryer
Finally, if you want to make your wings healthier, look at how you’re cooking them. That’s right, skip the fryer. All that oil does nothing more than pack on the calories. Instead, opt for a healthier option. The classic alternative to frying has always been baking. As we mentioned in “Healthy Hacks for Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries,” baking your food instead of frying it cuts out many of the trans fats and allows you to use healthier oils.
A newer option that’s been making a lot of waves lately is air frying your food. With air fryers, you don’t need any oil to cook your wings. In many cases, you can just add the frozen wings to the air fryer and use a preset for wings. Air fryers work by continually circulating hot air which can cook chicken evenly, at all angles, leaving you a crisp outside and a juicy inside. Most kitchens don’t come standard with them, but if you have one, try air frying your wings!
Skinny Fire Wings Recipe
- 2 5 oz chicken breasts
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper, or more to your preferred heat level
- 2 tbsp of Medicareful Living Chicken Seasoning Mix
- 1/3 cup of flour
- ½ cup of Frank’s RedHot Sauce
- 3 medium mixing bowls
- 1 large mixing bowl
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Dry and trim the fat and skin off two 5 oz chicken breasts
- Cover the breasts with a plastic wrap and pound thin
- Cut chicken breasts into roughly 2”x1” pieces
- Beat the eggs in one of the bowls, while placing the flour and panko in the other two
- Mix the flour with half of the cayenne pepper and chicken seasoning. Do the same with the other half and the panko
- Lightly dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture
- Dip the pieces in the beaten eggs, covering thoroughly
- Cover the chicken in the panko mixture and place aside until all the pieces are covered
- Cover a cookie sheet in tin foil and place a baking rack on top of it
- Place the chicken on the baking rack
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the juices run clear. Times may vary, depending on your oven.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool slightly
- When they are cool enough to handle, place the chicken in a large mixing bowl
- Cover the chicken with the Frank’s RedHot sauce and mix thoroughly
- Place the chicken back on the baking sheet, and return it to the oven
- Bake for five more minutes and serve!