Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 4 and The Pats are playing the Eagles. You’ll probably be eating nachos, chips and dip, maybe some ribs, and definitely some wings’ usually Buffalo wings doused in Frank’s RedHot sauce or your own concoction.
The common story behind the invention of these wings is that they came from Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., owned by Teressa and Frank Bellissimo in about 1964. Teressa invented them to feed her son’s friends who came into the bar hungry one night, using the part of the chicken she’d usually use for stock, deep-frying them and tossing them in not-her-husband Frank’s RedHot sauce (invented in 1920 in Louisiana). Since then, we ‘Buffalo’ everything, including cauliflower, and there are hundreds of sauce variations. Here, I offer some of those, but first, let’s get the basics down.
I like my wings crisp, very crisp, so I sometimes deep fry, although baking is more healthful. I’ll give you that version, too. The original Anchor Bar wings were just deep-fried and tossed in sauce. From there, it’s easy to toss in sauce using as much or as little as you’d like. I divide my wings into the flat and drumette although some keep them together.
Original Buffalo Wings
(deep fried version)
From the Anchor Bar in Buffalo
36 wings pieces, flats and drumettes
1 c. hot sauce (Anchor Bar sauce is good)
If not using Anchor Bar sauce, mix 1 cup Frank’s other vinegar based hot sauce with 2 T. minced garlic and 12 T. melted butter.
Pat dry your raw wings
Fry 12 wings at a time in 350-degree peanut or canola oil for 10-12 minutes. Keep them warm in the oven after frying if you’re making many batches. Toss the wings with warm sauce.
I like this sauce variation too, because you can adjust the seasonings more easily:
6 T. Frank’s Hot Sauce
4 T. butter
1 T. white vinegar
1/8 t. celery seed
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (or more to make them hotter)
1/4 t. red pepper
1/8 t. garlic salt
1 dash black pepper
1/4 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Baked Buffalo Wings
From the Anchor Bar in Buffalo
36 chicken wing segments
4 t. vegetable oil
1 t. salt
3/4 cup flour
8 T. (1 stick) butter
4 t. cider vinegar
1/4 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/8 t. garlic powder
4 to 8 T. hot sauce, or to taste, like Frank’s
Blue cheese dressing
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, toss wings with vegetable oil and salt. Sprinkle flour and toss until wings are evenly covered. Spread out on baking pans lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn wings and bake 20 minutes more or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine butter, vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Bring to simmer over medium. Remove from heat.
When wings are done, transfer them to a large serving bowl and pour hot sauce mixture over them. Toss wings to coat thoroughly with sauce.
So now that we have the basics, whether deep fried, baked, broiled or grilled, simply toss those wings into these sauces:
BBQ. Choose your favorite bottled sauce and toss or make your own. I like this BBQ sauce on mine because it has Hellmann’s mayo in it. This is good for 5 pounds of wings and best if grilled first.
2 c. Hellmann’s mayonnaise, 1/3 c. hot sauce, 1/3 c. bbq sauce, lemon juice. Mix it all and let wings marinate in it for an hour. Grill.
Maple-chipotle. Mix canned chipotle in adobo sauce with 2 T. maple syrup to a cup of hot-sauce with butter.
Fruit glazed. Use your favorite preserves like apricot, blueberry and orange marmalade with something salty like soy sauce and mustard. I like this one with pineapple. Use your deep fried wings, about 2 pounds worth.
1/4 c. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. sake
3/4 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. rice vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. water
1 T. cornstarch
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly browned.
Add the soy sauce, sake, pineapple juice, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Bring up to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Toss wings in sauce.
Curry. Cook 2 minced shallots, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 white inner bulbs of lemongrass, chopped and 2 T. minced ginger in 1 T. oil until soft. Stir in 2 small dried chilies, 2 t. Soy sauce, 1 T. fish sauce, 1 t. 1 ground cumin, 1 t. ground coriander, 1/2 t. Paprika, 1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg,1/2 t. ground turmeric and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk, then puree. Return sauce to skillet and add 2 pounds cooked wings. Toss. Cover and cook over low heat until the wings are heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
— Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner who lives in Exeter, NH (and Austin, TX). She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org