Even if you’re not an avid sports fan, we can all appreciate the simple all-American goodness that is the chicken wing. Haute cuisine is it not, but they are pretty damn good with some cold beers. There’s nothing worse than anticipating a nice big plate of finger licking goodness, only to be disappointed with sub-par wings from your local brew hall. They’re actually surprisingly easy to make at home. While it might not be appropriate for board game night (unless you don’t mind greasy, orange stained monopoly cards), a homemade batch of wings is a great excuse to invite over some friends and watch some competitive action of your choice in the comfort of your own home. I found this recipe over 10 years ago (via Martha Stewart’s cooking show), and it still knocks the socks off ‘em every time. These are seriously addictive.
A good rule of thumb is 10-12 wings per person. You’d be surprised how many wings even girls (or maybe just me) can take down. This sauce recipe is enough to coat approx 2 dozen wings. Adjust the proportions of the sauce as needed if you’re making more / less wings. Serve with carrots and celery sticks, and lots and lots of disposable napkins. And of course don’t forget the cold beers.
1/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
3 tblsn light brown sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper, Tabasco – to your liking
Make the Sauce:
In a small saucepan over med heat, melt the butter, add Frank’s Hot Sauce (it has to be Frank’s to be called ‘Buffalo’ wings), sugar, cayenne, Tabasco and stir gently until everything has combined nicely. Taste and adjust the flavorings to your heat liking. This will take about 10 minutes. Lower heat to low and keep warm until ready to use.
Make the Wings:
Rinse the wings, and pat dry with paper towel. Cut and separate into drumettes and wings. In a heavy bottom cast iron pan, fill with canola oil about 2 inches deep (make sure the pan is deep enough, otherwise use a deeper saucepan). Heat oil to 400 degrees over med high heat. Test the temp by putting the back of a wooden spoon into the oil, and if the bubbles on the handle are vigorous you know the oil is ready. Carefully fry (in batches) all of the wings until golden brown and crispy (about 18 -20 minutes). DO NOT walk away from the wings!! They will splatter but you want to make sure the oil doesn’t splash, or worse catch fire. Using tongs, drain the wings onto a plate lined with paper towel. When all of the wings are fried, toss the sauce to coat in a large bowl. Serve immediately while they are hot.
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings, and if it’s too runny add more mayo/ sour cream and more lemon juice if it’s too thick.
**A note on cleaning up the frying oil**
After frying, wipe down the area (sometimes the floor even) with wet paper towel and just leave the pan to cool down. Once cooled, strain (with paper towel or cheesecloth) the oil into a glass jar (if it’s clear you can still use it) or just pour into a few ziplock bags and throw that out. NEVER ever ever ever!! dump oil down your kitchen sink, or you’ll have to call the super to supermax draino your pipes and you’ll probably clog and damage the sink and any connecting pipes. (ie your neighbors’).