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Jan 28, 2012 01:18 PM

Super Bowl Food: I want to make PERFECT Buffalo Wings

I love traditional style Buffalo can I make them myself at home? Please share your recipe for how to make the traditional style (i.e. no BBQ, sweet and sour, etc.) I like them spicy hot. Thanks!

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  1. Alton Brown's recipe. Tastes just like deep fried without the fryer. Requires a bit of prep work but totally worth it. Don't skip the steaming step = removes most of the grease so they are taste like they are deep fried... they are superb.

    7 Replies
    1. re: beggsy

      +1 on AB's recipe -- crispy, not greasy, and **delicious**

      1. re: beggsy

        What a great thread! I'm hosting a Super Bowl party for my college age son and his friends. Last year when I made my wings I forgot to put cutting boards under my fryers and cracked my Avonite counter :((((. I really love the idea of cooking the wings ahead of time and then refying them. My problem is trying to figure out how much to buy per person. Does anyone know how many lbs per person? Here is our menu , of now. We are having chips, dips, antipasto, little smokies, buffalo wings with blue cheese carrots and celery sticks, loaded potato skins, mozzarella sticks, green salad and I haven't decided on a dessert yet.

        1. re: MsBees

          I usually count on 6-8 wings per person if there's a big spread planned -- I don't pay much attention to the weight, because they'll vary anyway. Throwing away the tips will also alter your weight figure...

          So I figure one wing is two pieces, as you'll separate them and get rid of the tips (freeze 'em and make stock later)

          1. re: sunshine842

            Thanks sunshine. Because we are having about 30 people I'm going to save myself some work and buy the frozen precut variety. I'm not sure if there is a wing count on the bags. Hopefully there is.

            1. re: MsBees

              The bags of frozen pre-cut wings usually work out to about 10-12 wings per pound, in my experience.

            2. re: sunshine842

              Chicken wings come three different packing sizes: small which is 14 to 16 per lb, medium 10 to 12, and large (also called "party wings") are 8 to 10. The giant ones you probably won't find in the supermarket. The medium are probably what you will find, but if the price is cheap that might signal the smallest size.

        2. Be sure your blue cheese dressing has lots of nice blue cheese chunks. If you go with the jarred/ bottled stuff, add more crumbled cheese!

          1. Start practicing now, so you will have ithe technique perfected.

            1. I'm sure you'll get a lot of varied advice here, but take it from someone who lived near Buffalo for many years - there is only ONE authentic way to make Buffalo wings, and that is to do it the way it's done at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo (where they were created). Other wing recipes may taste good, but they are NOT Buffalo wings.

              1. Deep fry. Authentic Buffalo wings are deep-fried, PERIOD. Baking is NOT an acceptable substitute. Baked wings simply DO NOT taste the same, nor do they soak up the sauce in the same way. Also, do not even THINK of breading, flouring or doing anything else to your wings. They simply need to be dunked into 375 degree oil for about 12 minutes, naked.

              2. Sauce. Buffalo sauce is simply a blend of hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot, preferably), butter and a litte seasoning (every wing joint does it a little differently, but I like a little garlic powder, a shot of Worcestershire and a shot of soy sauce). The seasoning is actually optional, though - butter and hot sauce are the important components. The ratio of butter to hot sauce determines how spicy your wings will end up. If straight hot sauce isn't spicy enough for you, you can add crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat. Personally, I like a ratio of about 3 parts hot sauce to 1 part butter - that will give you about the same heat level as ordering your wings "medium" in Buffalo would. I use 1/2 c. of butter and 1.5 cups red hot to sauce about 50 wings, give or take, as I like my wings very saucy. Drain your wings briefly when they come out of the fryer, put them in a big bowl, add a generous amount of sauce and toss. Serve immediately. I recommend serving them in batches, as crowding your fryer will keep them from crisping properly, but holding them before saucing/serving can also result in soggy skin.

              3. Blue cheese is optional but if you use it, any decent quality blue cheese salad dressing will do. Adding additional chunks of blue cheese is gilding the lily, but totally acceptable. Whatever you do, please do not serve ranch dressing with your wings. Celery is also optional.

              Anyway, there you have it - three simple steps to perfect, AUTHENTIC Buffalo wings! In case you didn't notice, those of us who live (or lived) near Buffalo get a little worked up about what really constitutes a Buffalo wing :) Enjoy!!!!!!!

              27 Replies
              1. re: biondanonima

                Good counsel. Especially, NO RANCH DRESSING. Gild the lily with extra blue cheese, says this cheese mouse.
                To biondanonima: with your connections at the Anchor Bar, can you persuade the owners to dust the cob webs from all the bric-a-brack hanging on the walls, every 10 years or so?...:) It usually looks like a set for a Munster shoot.

                1. re: Veggo

                  No kidding. Von's in Seattle has a bunch of framed David Horsey (great political cartoonist) artwork on the wall and they were *filthy*. I emailed him about it. Yes, I could have said something to them but when it comes from the artist, they really have to listen, right?

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Haha! How about that wooden statue of the waitress when you come in the door--the one with granny head on the really stacked, young body. That thing creeps me out.

                    Yeah, the decor in the Anchor Bar is...interesting.

                  2. re: biondanonima

                    Excellent purist post! Thank you biodanima!
                    I am famous, well - er - here in Seattle... far from Buffalo, for my Superbowl wings, and I am glad to hear I make 'em almost like your post.
                    only difference, I marinate my wings pre-fry in buttermilk, s&p, smoked paprika, garlic powder, lemon peel zest and a little worstechire sauce.
                    Drain well, pat dry, fry.
                    Follow your above saucing directions, and do the medium ratio of Franks to butter.
                    Always serve with homemade blue cheese dressing, and lot's of crisped celery standing in ice water. Aaahhh. My favorite touchdown of the day!

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      And that may earn you a PAT!
                      (radicals, shuuddd uuppp).

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Veggo, what does PAT stand for?
                        (my initial thought is hehehee, but for what? Please enlighten me:)

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          sorry to disappoint, ginger, there is no feel-good to it ; it's a Point After Touchdown. But creative people...oh, nevermind.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Well, Veggo, there is a feel-good to my wonderful hot wings, blue cheese dip and crispy celery, so there!

                            1. re: gingershelley

                              I am rooting for your team. Which team?

                              1. re: Veggo

                                New England; so I have an excuse to make homemade clam chowder and crab cakes, in addition to wings:)

                                  1. re: MsBees

                                    For food, or football finesse, or both Ms Bees? :)

                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                      Hahaha well I live in Massachusetts so I am definitely a Pats fan. But I also love the chowder and crab cake :)

                    2. re: biondanonima

                      Absolutely agree. my husband is from buffalo, and I lived there with him a few years the difference betwweb NY wings and vs wings is unbelievable.

                      Sorry for typos, IM on my phone which wont let me go back.

                      Flabby wings are disgusting. I prefer to cook mine just a little too much. when we have a party I sometimes double fry mine. I will partially fry ahead of time and then do again at service unsauced.

                      Franks is the key, and I have found that margarine works better in making the sauce adhere than butter. which is blasphemy for me as a margarine hater

                      We also grill our wings sometimes, just to be healthier I guess.. its good tho!

                      And it must be blue cheese and not ranch

                      1. re: Goatjunky

                        Re: the double fry - this is a very good way to do it if you want to serve a LOT of wings all at once. Excellent suggestion Goatjunky! I sometimes do this - I find that a 2-3 minute refry at a high temp is enough to recrisp the skin.

                        Grilled wings are tasty too but they're definitely not the real deal!

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          Great idea, especially when you have to serve a lot of wings! You said you refry them at a high temp is that 375 or higher?Do you know if I can cook them early in the day, refrigerate them and then recrisp them right before serving?

                          1. re: MsBees

                            I usually refry them from room temp, so that the cold wings don't drag down the temperature of the oil too much. A quick flash fry with the oil at 375 works for me - I usually do quite a lot of them at once when I refry, so even though they're room temp they bring down the temperature of the oil quite a bit.

                            Also, although I've never tried it, I suspect that you could probably get a very good final product by baking them until they're just cooked, then flash frying before service. It wouldn't be my preferred method but if I wanted to make more than 100 or so and I didn't want to be in the kitchen all night, I might try it.

                            1. re: biondanonima

                              biondanonimia thank you so much for your help. I've tried the baking but never frying them afterwards. At some point I may test that method but this is may be my senior in college last super bowl party with us so I'll cook it my normal way with your refrying method.

                              Thanks again

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                Hi Blondanonima. Did you ever end of trying the baking and then re-crisping in the fryer? That certainly would be a time saver. :::sigh::: although because I'm doing so many I am thinking about frying early ( I fry them very crispy) then reheating in the oven right before service and then and only then saucing them. What do you think?

                                1. re: MsBees

                                  I'm making these baked Buffalo wings today. I've had a lot of success w this guy's recipes before and these look great:


                                  1. re: MsBees

                                    Sorry for the two-years-late reply - but the answer is yes, when I have to do more than 50 or so wings, I have started roasting them until just done, and then flash frying them in batches to get the skin crispy. It actually works very well - they are almost indistinguishable from wings fried from raw. You can let them cool down to room temp after baking and still re-fry very successfully, so not only can you put out successive fryer-fresh batches very quickly, you can also serve a couple of batches when the party starts and then wait a few hours before frying more.

                                    I'm not sure that frying first and then reheating in the oven would have the same effect, though - there is really nothing like a deep fryer for crisping up the chicken skin, and that freshly-fried skin is key when it comes to soaking up Buffalo sauce for the perfect wing.

                          2. re: biondanonima

                            I was born and raised in Buffalo and I endorse this message--except I think that it really is okay to bake wings if you have a good method and no other option. They won't be quite as good as deep-fried wings but, believe me, Buffalonians will not tar and feather you if you do this. Not everybody has the gear to properly and safely deep fry at home, especially a large batch. I know plenty of Buffalonians who bake wings sometimes and my sister and I have done it too. Deep frying is best but a good baking technique is an acceptable substitute.

                            1. re: biondanonima

                              Well said. I have a post from 2006 pretty much along these lines! I worked at Shirley's on Millersport, down the street from Duffs, and we did thousands of wings a night when it was busy.

                              Only a couple of things I would add to your post.
                              1. After tossing the wings in the sauce, dump them back into a large strainer/colander and drain again. What sticks to the wings is all you need. If you plate it with a lot of sauce, the wings sitting in the sauce get soggy. In a perfect wing, the sauce is absorbed into the wing and they become one. A crispy, unnaturally orange wing, that looks almost unsauced to the eye, but if you run your finger across one, you'll pick up some sauce on it.

                              2. Franks has had a lot of the heat bred out of it (just like Tabasco). Buy the Franks Xtra Hot. And if need be, a drop or two of a neutrally flavored super hot sauce (like Dave's Insanity). I personally don't like red pepper flakes, because they don't infuse evenly and I don't like any bits of stuff other than orange wings.

                              3. Don't skip the butter/margarine to get more heat. Making wings with JUST Franks Hot Sauce because you like it hotter just isn't the same. To my mind, the wings don't stay crispy as long. I think the hot sauce emulsified with the butter creates a coating that retains crispiness better. That's why I'd add a drop of hot sauce to my Franks/Butter mixture rather than go straight Franks.

                              1. re: sbp

                                Sbp - awesome post! I agree with you that draining the wings is typical of places in Buffalo/Rochester but I actually prefer mine extra saucy - if they're served fresh from the fryer, they usually don't have time to get soggy no matter how much sauce they're in. However, if they're going to sit on a buffet or something like that, definitely get rid of the excess sauce (but serve it on the side for those that like it!).

                                As for the hot sauce, I like Frank's original because I feel like it has the right ratio of heat to vinegary-ness that is the hallmark of a good Buffalo wing. I love spicy food, but to me, the perfect Buffalo wing is less about blow-your-head-off spicy and more about the vinegary tang with just enough heat. I don't actually like pepper flakes myself either, but most of the wing joints I used to frequent used them for their "hot" or "extra hot" flavors, which is why I suggested it. A super hot sauce like you suggested would be my preference too if I wanted more heat. I also agree about not skipping the butter, but again, most of the wing joints I used to frequent did use less butter in their hotter flavors. Personally, I would NEVER cut the butter - it just tastes too good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  That's funny because my wife is an "extra saucy" person, too. So she prefers Duffs, and i prefer Elmo's and Anchor Bar. That's definitely a personal preference thing that won't get you kicked out of Buffalo either way.

                                  1. re: sbp

                                    Yeah, I had to ask for extra sauce when I went to the Anchor Bar. I lived in Rochester and most of the places there served them a little dry for my taste as well - luckily, the waitstaff at my favorite place knew me well enough that they always brought them out extra saucy!!

                            2. If you want to really ratchet up the heat of your wangs, add your favorite hot sauce to the Franks/butter combo.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Yep, with the Franks/butter "mother" sauce, one can ratchet up the heat without losing the fundamental essence of a Buffalo wing. Besides having used Insanity-style sauces, I have had great results with chile powders (particularly habanero and morita)* and a habanero chile oil. The oil is particularly interesting as it is pretty much just heat with little discernible flavor so the resulting wings look and smell "usual," but deliver a whole new "pop." A careful application of pure capsaicin extract would probably work fine as well.

                                *To be clear, I am referring to pure ground dried chiles, not the spice blend known as chili powder.