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~ Deep-Fried Chicken Wings w/RedHot-Ranch Slaw ~

IMG_3110There's nothing earth-shatteringly new about deep-frying chicken wings in a vat of oil for 14 minutes a batch.  In fact, this post doesn't even include a pictorial recipe for deep-frying chicken wings -- or oven-roasted wings if that floats your boat.  If you and yours love wings, you already have your favorite method for preparing them.  This post is about transitioning your wing-fest from a pub grub bar nosh to a kid-friendly family-style sit-in-front-of-the-TV movie-night meal.

IMG_3059Back in the 1980's and '90's, our three sons frequently wanted chicken wings for dinner, which, in my mind, didn't constitute a proper dinner.  Conjuring up a somewhat-healthy, preferably-vegetable kid-friendly side-dish, to serve with wings wasn't easy -- if they had their way, I'd serve wings with mac and cheese and call it a day.  Coleslaw popped into my head quite by accident, and, it happened at one of our Penn State tailgates at some point back in the 1990's.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d22a0d8d970cI remember setting the alarm to wake up at 4:00AM on that Saturday to deep-fry and sauce sixteen dozen chicken wings.  Later, while standing in the stadium parking lot watching the guys chow down on my wings, I noticed that instead of eating the carrot and celery sticks I'd packed, they were pairing the wings with a creamy, deli-style coleslaw -- a side-dish someone else had brought to our game-day potluck. My mind started to ponder a kid-friendly 'slaw I could sell to my kids.

IMG_3095Long story short:  I simply started by dicing the traditional celery and carrot sticks, tossing them into a bag of store-bought shredded coleslaw mix, then dressing the veggies with a concoction of store-bought Hidden-Valley Ranch Dressing spiced with Frank's RedHot Buffalo-Style Chicken Wing Sauce.  It's probably worth mention that, while my boys were ranch dressing fans (most kids are), blue cheese dressing may be substituted without compromise.  

Once I told my kids there was ranch dressing and hot sauce in their new-to-them side-dish, they didn't care what vegetables they were eating.  Wings had finally turned into an occasional dinner.

An easy-to-make kid-friendly coleslaw side-dish for wings, made from store-bought ingredients -- that adults will adore too.

IMG_30678  cups store-bought old-fashioned coleslaw mix (16-ounces)

1  generous cup peeled, quartered and very thin-sliced carrots

1  generous cup very-thin sliced celery

3/4  cup Hidden Valley ranch dressing, or your favorite brand of ranch dressing

1/4  cup Frank's RedHot wing sauce, or your favorite brand of wing sauce

IMG_3070 IMG_3070 IMG_3070 IMG_3070 IMG_3070 IMG_3070 IMG_3070~Step 1.  In a large bowl, place the coleslaw mix. Add the carrots and celery. Using a large rubber spatula, toss to combine. In a 1-cup measuring container, stir together the ranch dressing and wing sauce.  Add the dressing to the bowl.  Using the rubber spatula, thoroughly fold the dressing into the vegetable mixture, taking the time to make sure that all of the ingredients are enrobed in the dressing.  

Cover & refrigerate 'slaw for 2-4 hours or overnight:

IMG_3090Make a bed of slaw on each dinner plate & top w/sauced wings: 

IMG_3101Deep-Fried Chicken Wings w/RedHot-Ranch Slaw:  Recipe yields 6 cups cole slaw.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; 1-cup measuring container; spoon; large rubber spatula

6a0120a8551282970b01bb0990b2ab970dCook's Note: One of my favorite all-weather meals is a piece or two of crispy and nicely-seasoned roasted, grilled or fried chicken.  Pair it up with a well-appointed salad drizzled with creamy Ranch dressing and I can't resist it.  It doesn't require a culinary degree to figure out the same ingredients slapped between to pieces of bread is even better.  ~ Happy-Valley-Ranch Deep-Fried Chicken Sandwich ~

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019


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