derryX’s Buffalo Chicken Wings

I’ve never actually been able to nail the whole fried Buffalo chicken wing thing. Part of it has been my stubbornness to not start with flour coated wings. Another part of it has been my insistence that buffalo sauce doesn’t need butter.

Well, when I put Buffalo wings on the Wrestlemania Menu, I was going to make damn sure I did my research and churn out the best damn wings that I could. So I took to all of my books and some internet sources and came up with what follows.

I started with 30 wings from The Meat House (I had to specially order these because they’ve stopped regularly stocking chicken wings because they’re not popular in this area).

Picture of raw chicken omitted due to the “no raw chicken pictures” rule

I mixed 12 tablespoons of all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons of good ground paprika, a few pinches of cayenne pepper, and some sea salt in a very large bowl. After drying the wings, I tossed them in this flour mixture and allowed that to sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour.

In the meantime,  I broke out the trusty Fry Daddy, which only makes special appearances, and I got some vegetable oil heating at 375°F. I opted for vegetable oil because it was the most affordable; it also can take being kept at a high temperature for a long time.

I got to work on the Buffalo sauce. For this, I wanted to try something completely new. Frank’s hot sauce has been done again and again and again. So has Crystal hot sauce. Around Super Bowl time, I saw tons of advertisements for Tabasco’s new Buffalo style sauce. After searching the area high and low, Cassie found me a bottle.

So in a small pot, into about 10 tablespoons of melted butter, I added three cloves of chopped garlic, some fresh ground pepper and sea salt, and the whole bottle of hot sauce. I heated this over a low heat until it formed a uniform mixture.

I got to work on the blue cheese sauce, because a good crispy, hot wing is only as good as it’s blue cheese sauce. One big assumption I’ve always made is that places just serve a bottled blue cheese dressing with wings, and I’ve always been disappointed when I eat them with this stuff. In actuality, I have it on good authority that the majority of places combine either blue cheese dressing with mayonnaise, or sour cream, blue cheese chunks, and mayonnaise. So that was how I constructed my sauce.

I combined about 1 cup of sour cream with about half a cup of mayonnaise and incorporated about 2.5 oz of the blue cheese, crumbled as finely as I could by hand. I seasoned with a little salt and crumbled the rest on top of the bowl for a cool effect.

By then, it was about time to fry the wings. Because of the expansiveness of the menu, I was busy with other things, but I gave Dom strict instructions to fry each batch for exactly 10 minutes.

After all of the wings were fried, I tossed them in all of the sauce.

And they were eaten immediately.

derryX's Buffalo Chicken Wings

These were restaurant quality chicken wings. It only took the combination of a great product, and a deep fryer, and a flour coating, and butter in the sauce.

The wings themselves were tender and juicy. Leaving the flour mixture to sit with the wings for an hour helps the coating develop into something that seals the juices inside of the wings. The crispy exterior to the wings was a great textural balance, and gave the sauce something to soak into.

The sauce was amazing. There’s something special about the Tabasco Buffalo sauce that I can’t quite put my finger on. The sauce had the tang and light heat that you’d associate with Buffalo wings. The garlic helped bring both of these attributes out of the wings.

The blue cheese sauce was pretty damn good. It was a little too thick and kind of heavy on the tongue. I think it might have been missing a small acidic component, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar. But, it was creamy, cheesy, and delicious.

I would totally make these again, but, just as the Fry Daddy only makes it out for the special occasions, so will these wings.


Advertisement

12 thoughts on “derryX’s Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • Valerae

    No butter in the buffalo sauce??? Don’t worry, I won’t go all FLB on you, but come on, butter is a must! As is a little brown sugar, vinegar, etc. That being said, I would turn down a plate of your wings!

    I once made a chicken wing that had a layer of blue cheese sauce trapped within the crust. It was a little insane.

    I fry a lot, but I just use big stock pots. Frying wings is kind of a pain…lately I’ve just making a lot of buffalo chicken strips as a side to my buffalo mac and cheese. So much easier.

    I love getting wings when I’m out, but homemade is the way to go. No one else can serve buffalo chicken with the fried part still crispy as well as you can do it in your own kitchen.


    • derryX

      I thought I made it pretty clear that my lack of success in the past was from not using butter, but that it was definitely part of this. I’m not adding more than 10 tablespoons of butter. Haha

      I hope you mean you wouldn’t turn down a plate. 😛


  • Valerae

    You’re right – “wouldn’t” !!! My brain isn’t working yet today. Maybe I need chicken wings as fuel.

    I had been working on my perfect buffalo sauce and when Christian Noe’s buffalo mac and cheese recipe came out last year, his balance of items in the sauce helped me perfect it (although I still make mine hotter).


  • CP

    The blue cheese sauce looks excellent!

    What made you decide to add a flour coating? I have always been adamantly anti-coating of any kind, but I will try to keep an open mind!


    • derryX

      Good question!

      I’m a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares. I own many of his cookbooks, and, in the recipes I came across that he published, they prescribe the flour coating and hour rest prior to frying. I searched the web and found similar recipes then added a few touches and went with that.

      I figured that going with a technique that had gone through trials and focus groups would result in the most fool-proof wings.


      • Valerae

        You’re spot-on with the flour. Fried chicken was a big thing in our family…my dad, his mom, her mother and on and on – back to the hills of Arkansas – we’ve been frying chicken for generations…you flour, you rest – you get really crispy on the outside and it locks those juice on the inside. The one piece I’d say you might be missing is the egg or buttermilk before the flour (sometimes flour – egg – flour works well too)…that really makes for a good, crunchy coat.


        • derryX

          I thought about some buttermilk (there’s always some in the fridge), but decided against it because I didn’t want a thick batter on them.


      • CP

        Interesting!

        I haven’t yet been ambitious enough to try making these Ultimate Extra-Crispy Double Fried Confit Buffalo Wings (http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/01/the-food-lab-how-to-make-best-buffalo-wings-fry-again-ultimate-crispy-deep-fried-buffalo-wings.html), but I generally agree with the four “rules” for perfect wings stated therein.

        Unless I’m reading your post wrong, your other experiments were no-coating, no-butter? I wonder how no-coating, yes-butter would compare to this batch.

        All that said, they look delicious! Mmmmm wings.


        • Valerae

          I think most wings from local pizza joints don’t coat with flour for frying. Maybe it’s just my personal love for all things fried chicken that I like to use my regular fried chicken recipe under the buffalo sauce for a really crunchy buffalo wing.

          I’ll stop threadjacking in a sec…I’m a wee bit crazy about my fried chicken. I’ve also been making it weekly in the run-up to our trip to Savannah so my hubby has a good comparison between mine and ‘real’ Southern fried chicken (since before he met me, his knowledge of fried chicken began and ended at KFC). I’m excited to find out how my recipe stacks up to Mrs. Wilkes’.


  • GOOSE

    I can’t believe this, even though I’m typing it…I’ve never made my own blue cheese. How sad is that?

    I’ll definitely be borrowing this recipe, like tonight.

    Thanks buddy.


  • GOOSE

    …and one more thing, I’ve never liked breaded buffalo wings but I may have to give it a shot.

    I’ll have to share my garlic parm wing recipe with you.



Advertisement

Leave a Reply to GOOSE Cancel reply