Super Bowl XLI Special Issue

Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber:

This special issue is my way of saying “thanks” for subscribing to my online newsletter, Up in Smoke. I’m sending you one of the recipes I’ll be serving for this year’s Super Bowl: Super Bowl XLI Wings with Thai Aioli. (For more Super Bowl recipes, see the January, 2006 edition of Up in Smoke at

Wings have become to Super Bowl Sunday what turkey is to Thanksgiving: in other words, preferred poultry. Of course, we all know and love the deep-fried wings developed in 1964—two years before the first Super Bowl—by Frank and Teressa Bellissimo, the owners of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. But you know Raichlen’s rule: if something tastes good fried or baked, it probably tastes even better grilled.

Marinated in beer and rubbed with ginger and other spices, these wings hit the grill with flavor to spare (Did you know the term “gridiron” actually comes from the football field’s resemblance to a grill grate?). They come off, 30 to 40 minutes later, in a haze of smoky glory and are doused, in a qualified nod to tradition, in melted butter and Thai hot sauce. An Asian-influenced aioli coolly accompanies them. They’ll be the hit of your party.

Again, thank you for reading Up in Smoke. Our next issue, which is devoted to indoor grilling, will be coming to you soon, followed by another with my best tips and tricks for grilling in cold weather. Keep an eye on your inboxes and…

May you have the winning number (or box) in the office pool!

With Thai Aioli
If grilling conditions are less than, well, super, on Super Bowl Sunday, these wings can be prepared on a contact grill or indoor built-in grill. They will take 4 to 6 minutes on the contact grill, provided the lid is down, and about 6 to 8 minutes per side on a built-in grill.

Method: Indirect grilling
Serves: 3 to 4 as an appetizer (makes 12)

12 whole chicken wings (about 2 pounds)

For the marinade:

2 cups dark beer
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced

For the rub:

2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To finish:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sriracha (Thai hot sauce; see Note)
1 1/2 cups Thai Aioli (recipe follows)

You’ll also need: 1 1/2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or oak), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

1. Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Cut the tips off the wings and discard them (or leave the tips on if you don’t mind munching a morsel that’s mostly skin and bones). Cut each wing into 2 pieces through the joint.

2. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the beer, honey, cilantro, ginger, and garlic, and whisk to mix. Place the wings in a large nonreactive bowl or resealable plastic bag, and add the marinade. Let the wings marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours; the longer they marinate, the more pronounced the flavors will be.

3. Make the rub: Place the salt, pepper, garlic, salt, ginger, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl and whisk to mix.

4. Drain the wings in a colander and blot them dry with paper towels; discard the marinade. Place the wings in a mixing bowl. Toss with the olive oil to coat. Add the rub and toss to coat the wings evenly.

5. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke; then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

6. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grate. Place the wings in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the wings, turning periodically, until the skin is golden brown and crisp, and the meat is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. To test for doneness, make a tiny cut in the thickest part of one of the larger wing halves. There should be no trace of red at the bone.

6. Transfer the wings to a clean shallow serving bowl. Pour the butter and sriracha over them and stir to mix. Serve at once with Thai Aioli and plenty of cold beer.

Thai Aioli
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sriracha (Thai hot sauce; see Note), or more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
3 scallions, white and green parts finely minced

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sriracha, cilantro, and scallions, and whisk to mix. Cover and refrigerate.

Note: Sriracha is a sweet Thai hot sauce—think turbocharged ketchup, rather than tongue-blistering hot sauce. It’s named for a city on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard and is available at most Asian markets, or through

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor

Facebook Twitter