It's that time of year again, America. Football, beer and expensive commercials. No Super Bowl celebration would be complete without finger lickin' good buffalo wings. Forget every memory of them at Hooters or TGIFridays, good buffalo wings are delicious. I mean, its fried chicken wings covered in tangy buttery hot sauce. And if you haven't learned already, I would give my life for salty crispy chicken skin.
As its name suggests, the dish was invented in Buffalo, New York in 1964 at the Anchor Bar (no, not made from buffalo meat) and it is rumored that the co-owner Theresa Bellissimo invented this dish as a last minute idea for some of her son's guests that were arriving to the restaurant. But now family members are telling different versions of their invention. Like other American classics, such as the Caesar salad, the invention of the buffalo wing is still shrouded in family mystery.
Nowadays, people do a lot of creative stuff with buffalo wings and I'm sure some purists out there are gonna say that the sauce is key to perfect wings, which I can appreciate but don't entirely agree. I think that's where you can have fun, think outside the box and play with ingredients. If I'm gonna get my panties in a bunch over one thing, it's the skin. It is paramount that your chicken wings are crispy all around the outside. Flabby chicken skin here is textural nightmare. Oh, and don't even think about breading your wings!
To have less room for frying-error, I used a recipe that dusted them lightly in cornstarch. This doesn't create a coating, but just crisps up the skin.
– 3 pounds of chicken wings
– 1-2 quarts of peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying
– 3 tbsps of cornstarch
– 1 tsp of salt
– 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
– 4 tbsps of unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
– 1/2 cup of Louisiana Hot Sauce such as Frank's Hot Sauce
– 2 tbsps of hot sauce (I used Tapatio, because I love it, but use what you prefer)
– 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
– 2 tsps of apple cider vinegar
In order to take apart your wings, use a sharp knife and cut off the wing tip at the joint. Then make an incision down to the joint in the second crease of the wing. Bend back the bones at the joint until the joint pops apart. Cut all the way through between the joint until completely separated.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until 360 degrees. Using paper towels, pat the chicken wings dry very very well. In a bowl, mix the corn starch, cayenne and salt together. Sprinkle and lightly dust the cornstarch mixture all over the wings. In batches, fry the wings so that they're not crowding the pot. Fry about 10-12 minutes and remove onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep the first batch of wings in a 200 degree oven while frying the rest so they don't get cold.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat and add all the sauce ingredients (hot sauces, sugar and vinegar). Toss the fried wings in the sauce until completely coated and serve immediately with some celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
Blue Cheese Dressing
– 2 1/2 ounces of blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
– 3 tbsps of buttermilk (or you can substitute with whole milk)
– 3 tbsps of sour cream
– 2 tbsps of mayonnaise
– 2 tsps of white wine vinegar
– 1/4 tsp of sugar
– 1/8 tsp of garlic powder
– Salt and pepper to taste
With a fork mash the blue cheese with buttermilk until crumbled. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together.
(Recipe adapted from The New Best Recipe)