Brought to you by our in-house Chef Kai Salimaki
Chef Kai here with CultivatR; with NHL playoffs looming around the corner, we are excited to share with you some of our favourite snacks to enjoy while watching the game. Below are some game day suggestions brought to you by some of our amazing and local Alberta Vendors.
Game Day Menu
To say I have a slight obsession with chicken wings would be a bit of an understatement. We have sourced our chicken wings from Lone Pine Farms and promise you that these wings are truly amazing.
Before we begin, let’s talk about cooking methods. When I think of cooking wings there are really two options for me; deep frying or baking. I know some of you are clawing at the screen right now, yelling AIR FRYER!!!! The Air Fryer is all the rage and trendy right now and I have heard great things about it, I just haven’t used one yet. We can also bring the BBQ into the conversation if we want to go all out. So….I guess we have 4 cooking methods to discuss.
Cooking methods can help dictate how we prepare our wings. Sometimes wet marinades are not suitable for deep frying and lend themselves better to baking. So keep this in mind when choosing how you want to cook up the wings.
Deep Frying: The go to method in restaurants when preparing chicken wings. The wings are fully submerged and fried in a fat (usually a neutral oil such as canola). The results are a very crispy wing but the downfall can be over-frying and drying out the wing. If you don’t own a home style deep fat fryer you can use a large stock pot and a thermometer suitable for fryers. Fill the pot with your canola oil (¼ way up the pot, no more) and bring up to a temperature between 350-375 degrees fahrenheit. Make sure your wings are patted dry to avoid any sort of splatter as we fry the wings. Gently lower the chicken wings in and fry for approximately 5-7min. Wings will float when they are done but it’s always better to check one wing first, to ensure it is cooked through.
Once the wings are done, take them out of the oil and allow to blot on clean paper towel, season immediately with salt and pepper. From here you can choose your sauce. Our favourites are Bow Valley Bow Grizzly Hot Sauce and Bow Valley Winged Buffalo Hot Sauce.
Oven Baked Wings: You can definitely achieve a nice crispy wing by oven baking but keep in mind that this method definitely takes longer. With some forethought, we can really pack in some flavour to our chicken wings by marinating them for at least a couple hours prior to baking. For a fun twist on flavour that packs a punch, try marinating the wings in Bow Valley Total Jerk Sauce for 3-4 hours. Any of the other sauces will work as well, or bake and toss afterwards, your choice!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the wings evenly across the baking sheet without having them touch. Bake for 35-45min turning once halfway through.
Air Fryer: An air fryer is basically a convection oven that mimics a deep fryer by having super hot air circulating over the food producing a crispy product. As I’ve mentioned before, I have yet to try this “new” piece of equipment but our Founder Dan says its the best way to cook wings. I welcome any customer pictures/recipes showing me your results!!
BBQ: This is one of my favourite ways to do wings. It was a little restaurant hack to finish chicken wings with a kiss on the grill after deep frying/saucing. This imparts a slight char/smoky finish to the wing that is great.
If you are cooking the wings from raw here’s how you do it. Make sure you have a clean grill that is pre-heated to around 325-350 degrees fahrenheit and wipe your grill quickly with an oiled up paper towel or use a non-stick spray. Spread the wings around the grill and cook for around 20min or until internal temperature reaches 165F.
Chips and Dips!
The easy go to snack at every party and game day. We at CultivatR believe that if you can’t make a better product, buy it. If you haven’t tried any of the Maxi Foods products, then you are truly missing out. Locally made by Vlad and his team, Maxi Foods are pumping out authentic Mexican flavours. We suggest you pair the below dips with some of Vlad’s amazing tortilla chips, they are whole grain, gluten free, non-GMO! The yellow and blue tortilla chips are my favourite dish rite :)
Our top suggestions to try:
Pico De Gallo: a fresh salsa with a little heat, lots of fresh lime juice, cilantro, onions and diced tomatoes.
Guacamole: crushed avocados with lime juice, herbs and spices.
Jalapeno or Chipotle Cream Dip: a little bit of a different style dip but so delicious, Serve with some fresh cut vegetables or tortilla chips.
If you have never had fresh popped popcorn , you are truly missing out. The microwavable bags cannot hold a candle to popping your own, trust me. All you need is a large pot with a lid, some butter, canola oil, salt and your choice of flavouring. Place your pot on the stove, heat up about ¼ cup of canola oil and a tbsp of butter and pour in about a half cup of popcorn kernels. Stir the kernels around until they start to turn white, once you hear the first popping, put the lid on the pot and shake until the popping stops! Season with salt (and melted butter!) and serve up. If you want to add a little kick to the popcorn, try sprinkling a little ancho or guajillo pepper powder on the popcorn and toss to coat evenly.
Snackington’s is a local company that are producing some amazing pretzels, whether you choose the plain seasoned, gluten free or even the chocolate dipped, you cannot go wrong with putting a bowl of these out.
We covered the savoury game day snacks but we still have a sweet tooth. We have a good spread of delicious sweet treats from our friends below that are guaranteed to please.
Grizzly Paw Sodas
With amazing flavours coming out of the Bow Valley region, sit back and crush a couple of handcrafted sodas from our friends at Grizzly Paw. You can’t go wrong with any of the six flavours but I’m partial to their Cream Soda!