Gluttony never looked so tender and juicy
Ah, Buffalo wings - beer makes you more delicious, and you make beer more refreshing. It's a relationship so heartwarming that Jack and Diane seem like Hitler and Eva Braun by comparison.
Prior to all the hipsters proclaiming love for tripe, kidneys, and tongue, Buffalo wings were the original culinary "one man's trash ..." story. As you all probably know, the wings were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, as a way to get some use from a part of the chicken that was then thought of as garbage. A little hot sauce and blue cheese later, they've become so popular as to substantially screw with the price of chicken itself.
If you're going to do this, do it right. Get the jointed wings and chop those bad boys down to that familiar, recognizable shape for delicious preparation. Boneless wings are for chattering sorority girls and Guy Fieri ... I repeat myself. You want that satisfying pile of bones and gristle, paying tribute to your power as a barbaric man (or, if you prefer, Amazonian lady). If you work in retail or a cubicle, it's probably as bad-ass as you're going to feel the entire week.
It should be said right off the bat that we're calling these "Hot Wings" and not "Buffalo Wings." They are not prepared in the traditional Buffalo style (i.e., not fried to hell, more than 2 ingredients in the sauce), and people from that region get mighty uppity if you deviate. This might not be Buffalo, but you can enjoy a crispy skin with a much more tender and juicy inner wing. Who ever said Buffalo was perfect, anyway? Certainly not anyone who watched Super Bowls XXV-XXVIII.
Don't forget, you also need a big plastic cup, featuring your alma mater, filled with half cheap whiskey and half Coke.
You'll need the following equipment:
- Good tongs (not the tiny ones that your mom bought you when you moved into your own place that make your hands cramp and look like Stephen Hawking's).
- Nonstick saute pan
- Large mixing bowl (for tossing wings in sauce)
- Rimmed baking pan lined with foil
1 dozen chicken wings (not wing pieces, actual chicken wings)
Four for dusting, seasoned with salt and pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp butter
8 tbsp hot sauce (in Buffalo, they use Frank's Red Hot. Just saying.)
8 tbsp butter (that'd be one stick. What, you expected health food?)
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp salt
1. Cut through the wings at each joint. Set wing tips aside for stock, or throw away. Or do whatever you want. They're yours. Just don't try to make them into hot wings. That'd be gross.
2. Place all sauce ingredients (that second grouping of things above) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil briefly, then simmer over low, stirring to prevent sticking.
If you want the traditional sauce recipe, than ignore everything but the butter and hot sauce.
3. Dust chicken wings in seasoned flour. Shake off excess. Preheat oven to 375.
4. Heat 2 tbsp each of the butter and oil over med/med-hi, depending on your oven range. Using both butter and oil will keep the butter from burning in the pan.
Cast iron works too. But if you put that in the dishwasher when you're done, I'll come over and punch you in the throat.
5. Brown wings in skillet for 3-4 min, until nice and golden. Flip then and repeat. Remove to baking pan.
If you want, you can brush your wings with sauce at any time during the following steps. It's going to lead to much less crispy skin, but they'll be both juicy and saucier than a 1920s burlesque performer. Your call.
6. Bake in the oven at 375 for 30-35 min, depending on the size of the wings.
The chicken juice and sauce leaking off of the sides of the pan, on to my oven floor, explains why I recommend a rimmed baking ban. Do as I say, not as I capture on film.
7. Turn oven up to 400, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
8. Pour finished wing sauce into bowl. Remove pan from oven. Throw the wings into the sauce a half-dozen at a time, and toss in the bowl.
9. Crack open a cold beer, mutter "hell yes" to no one in particular, and throw on the DVD of Roadhouse. Enjoy yourself.
With an entire bowl of extra sauce - dip the celery in it, brush your teeth with it, or just drink it alone in the dark while staving off tears. Hooray for dignity!