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.
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.