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Almost Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings

Posted by Matt in the CML Supply Test Kitchen on

Buffalo Style Wings

So I've been making chicken wings for almost 20 years. Since 1988. I was taught to make a Buffalo-style sauce from Franks Red-Hot sauce, white and black pepper, garlic and onion powder, mixed in melted margarine. Not bad, and it was a hit with the locals and sold well at the restaurant I worked at.

There are many rumors about what the Buffalo sauce from the Anchor Bar is made from. The consensus is it consists of some balance of Franks, melted butter, cayenne powder, vinegar, and maybe worcestershire and salt.

Since moving mid-southeast, I have tweaked my personal recipe to be a little sweeter, a little richer, and have a little more cling to the bird wing. 13 years now the blend has changed some, but still holds up

We will not call it a straight Buffalo Sauce. But it's a good sauce that works great for wings, fingers, nuggets, whatever bird is in the bowl. A Little sweet, a little sticky, with a hint of garlic and parmesan.

The sauce...

  • 2/3 Cup Franks Original Red Hot Sauce. No Tabasco or other unflavored pepper sauce.
  • 1 Stick (8Tbsp) Margarine.
    Don't criticize, works better than butter. Butter is mostly water and makes the wings less crispy. Don't fool yourself into thinking restaurants use butter anyway. And you're eating fried chicken so the health concerns are a moot point.
  • 2/3 Cups Brown Sugar (Makes a clingy sweetness). Start with less and add to taste.
  • 2 Tbsp Honey(Makes a clingy sweetness)
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 to 2 TBSP Grated Parmesan Cheese, to taste

Choose a glass bowl with a cover that allows you to store unused sauce. Soften the margarine (in the microwave) and then mix in the Franks and the Brown Sugar. Microwave again until the margarine is fully melted an then stir in the rest of the ingredients. I usually do one more microwave when it is close to time to sauce the wings. Make sure the bowl is covered with a paper towel or plastic wrap!

The Chicken...

You can buy chicken "wings" in 5 or 10 pound bags at the grocer or big club store. If possible, choose no solution added quick frozen wings. I usually make about 10 wings per person. Keep unused wings frozen, but use within about 2 months to avoid freezer burn.

A purist will buy fresh wing pieces, but the frozen wings work well and are similar to what you will have at  a "wing joint".

I used to fry frozen, but it does work better to thaw the wings ahead of time. Removing ice an excess water makes for a much cleaner cooking experience. Allow several hours to thaw a couple dozen wings. Drain and remove any excess water, and pat dry with a paper towel.

The Process...

A True Wing is deep fried, not baked. A true Wing is not brined or breaded. There are many recipes for a good baked wing, but I stick to the deep fryer. Set your oven to 170 degrees or a warming mode, and set your deep fryer to the 350 degree range.

When the fryer is ready, fry about 12-15 at a time, based on your fryer capacity. Fry until cooked to your desired texture, about 7-8 minutes.

Drop the wings in an oven safe pan or dish and keep warm in the oven.

When ready for saucing... add some wings to a large bowl with several tablespoons of sauce. Toss or stir the wings to coat them.

Serve 'em...

Serve with carrot sticks. Celery if anyone will eat it. At least celery makes a good garnish. And blue cheese dressing. Good blue cheese dressing. Ranch dressing only if the blue cheese factory burns down.

You can store unused sauce in the covered bowl indefinitely. When sauce runs low, re-mix in the same bowl and keep going. A favorite last minute meal is to buy breaded fast-food chicken fingers, coat with sauce, and serve over a salad with blue cheese dressing or ranch.

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