Anybody have suggestions on how to make homemade buffalo wings? What kind of hot sauce do you use? Do you just put the wings into hot oil? Or do they get some batter? How hot should the oil be? What kind of oil should I use?
-s&p the wings - I also shake some cayenne on them, but that's not necessary. The Salt & Pepper is.
-dredge lightly in flour (many people don't do this, but I think the sauce sticks better). Don't use batter. Dredge and shake off just before putting it in the oil - don't let it build up a thick crust.
-fry (some people bake - if baking, I wouldn't use the flour, and I would dry, s&p, then lightly coat the wings with oil) - back to deep fat frying - I use peanut oil at 365-370 - some oils burn at that temp, so make sure you don't let it actually smoke. If you don't have a fryer, get a splash screen for your pan and plan your moves so you don't move the pan while the oil is hot. Make sure you have a good wire scoop like the ones that come with the woks so you can get the pieces out without splashing. I really recommend using one of those deep, rectangular, element in the oil, fryers. If stove top frying, please follow safety tips.
-drain, then put into bowl with hot sauce and toss until eveny coated. My favorite off the shelf is either Anchor Bar (the original) or Archie Moore's, but these aren't available all the time, so I use Frank's, but heat it up in a pan and add butter and cayenne. Texas Pete's is ok in a pinch - it seems to be everywhere - it's spicy enough but not very flavorful - you don't want to put cayenne in because of the heat, but you just don't get any peppery flavor - they probably use a capsaicin based hot sauce.
I think that applehome has the basics down pretty well as a guide. A couple of other things I do:
- after dredging, put in refrigerator and redredge once more before frying - but do shake off excess
- I heat my sauce and add butter there, when the wings come out of frying, they go into the heated sauce
- for any sauce, butter acts as a counterbalancing balm for the spice, vinegar increases its "cut"
Recently, I've been going another way, which involves soaking them in the sauce first (uncooked) then grilling them with herbs (basting once per side with the sauce. They come out familiar enough but are completely different. I am liking this way better now, but will balance out I'm sure.
re: Dennis S
All great suggestions! My hubby makes wings about twice a year, so I'll suggest the dredging thing next time.
He slowly heats up his sauce (butter, Frank's Red Hot) as well so he can coat the wings immediately once they are fried. We don't have a deep fryer so find that our wok works great. On the occasion that he wants a little more sweetness, he'll add a touch of brown sugar or a sweet BBQ sauce.
And, by all means, don't forget the carrot and celery sticks w/ that bleu cheese or ranch dressing. That's the part that I like!
re: Carb Lover
i recently made buffalo wings for the first time, and they were a hit. i followed exactly what applehome suggested in terms of chicken prep, using only the drummettes, and used canola instead of peanut, which i will try next time.
for the sauce i used an entire bottle of Red Hot (the larger one) w/ a 1/2 c (1 stick) of butter, all melted and heated together. then splashed in some (ok, a lot) louisiana cajun hot sauce from trader joe's. this of course yields a lot of sauce, as i was making wings for 25 people, so used about 6 lbs of drummettes. the butter really nicely thickens the sauce for coating. delicious! never knew it was so easy to make your own buffalo wings!
i served them w/ a ranch yogurt dip, cuz it's thicker and won't drip off the chicken (had to save my floors!). dip made w/ tj's mediterranean plain yogurt and mccormick's ranch dressing mix.
re: Dennis S
Dennis S has hit paydirt with his last on grilling 'em. I kosher mine, marinate in Red Hot, then baste with a Red Hot/butter mixture while grilling, lastly toss with the remaining baste before serving. Grill them for a long time, for a crispy skin and falling off the bones meat.
Aside from the requisite blue cheese dressing, it'll nearly make for a diet meal at least vs. deep-frying. My kids simply hoover them.
I dont like really, really hot wings, so I tried Williams Hot Spicy wings seasoning mix, which I love. Its just a spicy enough, I suppose you can add cayenne or whatever you want to make it hotter. Coat the wings, spray with pam and bake in the oven. Everybody that has tried them loves them. Once I couldnt find them in the store (comes in a pouch) so I emailed and they sent me a mail order list. Seems the grocer likes to play games and move the display around, ask at the Customer Service counter, sometimes they know. Anyway, thats what everybody prefers now.
If you don't want to deep fry, I bake them in a non-stick jelly roll pan at 450F for 10-12 minutes, then flip for another 10-12 minutes. This can cause smoke in the kitchen, it just seems to depend. Like the other posters said, heat the sauce with butter in a fry pan and toss them in the pan.
Cooks Illustrated lists a very good Buffalo Wings recipe on its comapnion web site www.AmericasTestKitchen.com. In this recipe, the wings are coated with corn starch rather than flour. And the wing sauce is Frank's Hot Sauce, butter, cedar vinegar and spices.
You have to register with the web site to access the recipe.
I'm from Buffalo, grew up in the 1970's -- the golden age of Buffalo Wings. Wings in Buffalo really took off then; there were a bunch of local chains that served just wings, and it was during the late 70's that every pizza joint started making wings. I worked in one such place, so I know how to make the real deal.
Many people in the rest of the country post wing recipes that are baked, or coated in sauce then cooked, or breaded, or served floating in a thick, goopy sauce. A thick sauce leaves a gloppy coating on the wing, which makes it go soggy. On a perfect wing, the sauce and the skin become one; it will be bright orange, but if you run your finger over it, very little sauce will come off. In fact, in Buffalo, people order their wings "crisp and dry" -- this means well drained, so the wings aren't swimming in sauce (again, loses crispness). Only the Anchor Bar serves them drowning, and the fact is most Buffalonians don't like Anchor Bar wings that much.
Also, NEVER bread a Buffalo wing. In fact, don't add garlic powder, chile powder, or other "extras". These things almost all ahdere to the skin in a way that makes it go soggy. And breading is just morally wrong (for Buffalo wings, anyway). A Buffalo wing is all about the crisp and spicy skin of the chicken.
Two things have changed in 20 years.
First, Franks Hot Sauce, which was bought by Durkee years ago, is just not as spicy as it used to be (and neither is Tabasco for that matter). Chalk it up to homogenization. There is now an "extra hot" Franks Hot Sauce, which is closer to the original. I've also found you can add some neutral habanero sauce to get a really hot wing. Just make sure it is not a thick sauce.
Second, most wing places outside of Buffalo use miniscule wings. This throws the flavor out of balance -- the wings taste too greasy. Use fairly large wings if you can get them.
The rest is easy. Cut the wings into two peices. Throw out the wing tip. Toss a handful into a deep fryer (don't crowd them) for 12-14 minutes. While they are cooking, melt a few tablespoons of margarine (butter probably tastes better, but authentic wings were made with margarine). Dump it in a big bowl. Add Franks Hot Sauce or hotter similar sauces to taste. For extra hot, some places use no margarine, but I find a little promotes a good seal on the skin -- it seems the vinegar in hot sauce alone causes sogginess. For fairly hot, the ratio is maybe 10 parts hot sauce to 1 part margarine. Mix the hot sauce and margarine.
When the wings are cooked, drain them, and dump into bowl. Stir and swirl with slotted spoon (we used to use a very big bowl, and would just flip the wings around by shaking the bowl), then lift the wings to the edge of bowl, allowing excess sauce to drain off back into bowl. Plate. Save the remaining hot sauce for the next batch of wings out of the fryer, and replenish as necessary.
We use to sell lots of wings at our restaurant in Pittsburgh. the bigger the wings the better. Cut the tips off and used them for making soup stocks.
Just fry those suckers without anything. When done, jsut add your wing sauce. The problem we had was the Frank's was never hot enough!
So, what we did was take those long red Chinese hot peppers, grind them up very fine and add them to the Franks hot sauce! People loved em! But, the next morning? Well...you'd have to ask our customers....
i'm originally from buffalo & the secret to wings is frying them & immediately throwing those hot wings into the prepared hot sauce--without blotting the grease off. in buffalo, Frank & Teresa's is the hot sauce of choice but it's not really that hot. so, they make them hotter with hotter hot sauces, never tabasco sauce.
i've watched them a zillion times take plain wings from the refrigerated unit & dump them into that boiling grease for about 10 min. then, they dump them into the sauces and shake them around. voila!
I too am from Buffalo and I agree 100% with everything about your post, EXCEPT--how could you forget the celery sticks, carrot sticks and the blue cheese dressing? out here in CA, they serve that wretched Ranch Dressing! And I sure would like to know where and how all those place in WNY find humongous chicken wings! Because you're right--size does indeed matter when it comes to a properly cooked Buffalo Wing! Oh, what I would give to be able to eat freshly cooked, properly sided Buffalo Wings at any hour!