As a born and raised Buffalonian, I feel like a traitor sharing my favorite recipe for wings. It is NOT true to the spirit of the Anchor Bar. I follow the method described, and make my own sauce with franks, a couple tablespoons of butter, and a good glug of bbq sauce.
Cook's Illustrated's wings are the best version of the classic I've used, and they're blue cheese sauce is delightful.
Wings use seasoned cornstarch to give a slightly "coated" texture, which grabs on to the sauce, and you can keep them warm in a low oven for a couple hours before saucing. Which is nice, because it gives you time to air out the house after frying, and also helps the meat pull away from the bone nicely.
Lemme know if you want the recipe.
I treat the optional "keep warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours" as part of the recipe, not optional—I really think it helps.
Cook's Illustrated Wing Recipe
Serves 6 to 8. Published February 1, 2005.
Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce is not terribly spicy. We like to combine it with a more potent hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to bring up the heat. You will need to double the ingredients in the blue cheese dressing.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup hot sauce , preferably Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 - 2 quarts peanut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 pounds chicken wings (18 wings), cut up (see illustrations below)
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables
2 1/2 ounces blue cheese , crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
4 stalks celery , cut into thin sticks
2 medium carrots , peeled and cut into thin slices
1. For the Sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in hot sauces, brown sugar, and vinegar until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. For the Wings: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While oil heats, mix together cayenne, black pepper, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Dry chicken with paper towels and place pieces in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over wings and toss with rubber spatula until evenly coated. Fry half of chicken wings until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer fried chicken wings to baking sheet. Keep first batch of chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings.
3. For the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables: Mash blue cheese and buttermilk in small bowl with fork until mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds. Stir in remaining ingredients (up to carrot and celery sticks). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.
4. To Serve: Pour sauce mixture into large bowl, add chicken wings, and toss until wings are uniformly coated. Serve immediately with the carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on side.
5. To Make Ahead: The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce just before serving.
Alton Brown's Good Eats wings recipe blows every other version out of the water. We have made it dozens of times with great success - crispy, moist, and not greasy. Heaven!
* 12 whole chicken wings
* 3 ounces unsalted butter
* 1 small clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup hot sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.
Yep, though a quick pop in the (toaster) oven really helps the sauce cling deliciously. We've found a combination of Frank's Red Hot and Crystal make the best wing sauce. And because we are lazy, Marie's Light Bleu Cheese Dressing (in the jar with the light blue lid, in the refrigerated fresh vegetable section in the grocery store) is a great dip.
Part of the reason that the wings are still good cold/at room temperature is that because of the steam/chill/roast method, they are much, much less greasy than normal wings. But because of the chill part, they are still crispy without frying. We did a taste off last year between Alton's and Cook's Illustrated's fried wings - the fried were definitely better, but not a lot better, and they were much heavier than Alton's steam/roasted batch. And there was a lot more mess from the fried ones. We stick with Alton's recipe now.
I get the big packs of wings from Costco.
My superbowl wings are generally well received, though they're not particularly complicated. I melt a stick of margarine with a small bottle of hot sauce (I use Cholula), deep-fry some drumettes in canola oil until they're golden and crispy, then toss them to coat. They get served with home made blue cheese dressing (blue cheese crumbles, buttermilk, sour cream, salt) and celery sticks.
It probably is the Frank's recipe, though I didn't get it from them. Of course the hot sauce you use will make a big difference, but I've done it with everything from tabasco to generic Louisiana hot sauce to Cholula, which is my current fave. I've found that the margarine is key here, since butter tends to break. Aside from that, it's a pretty foolproof recipe.
This is the only occasion when I use margarine instead of butter. Many people use butter and are pleased with the results. I've personally found that the butter breaks down in a way that margarine (being oil-based) doesn't. Also, if you're not careful, butter will start to brown on you, which isn't a risk with margarine. Bear in mind that you're only tossing to coat, so you can always drain off any extra. Health food it ain't, I agree. Luckily, superbowl only happens once a year.