Saturday, December 31, 2011

Classic Buffalo Chicken Wings

Need more than cookies for your party spread? How about some classic buffalo chicken wings? These are a bit healthier than the standard as they are baked, not fried.  If it's too late to make it to the NYE party, you got plenty of time till the Winter Classic or the Superbowl. 

Of all the places to be sent for a few days to attend a seminar, Buffalo certainly wasn't on the top of my list.  But as always when traveling, I fully engulfed myself in the local food, which would be beef on weck and a chance to visit the original wing shack.  Their sauce is pretty good, but you can easily make your own as well, using another well-known favorite, Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. 

Classic Buffalo Chicken Wings

2-2.5 lbs chicken wings, about 12-15 jointed wings or so, or you could just buy the drummettes if you like
EVOO or canola/veg oil
1/2 C Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
1/4 ts garlic powder
1/4 ts onion powder

Fire up the heater to 375F. 

With a very sharp knife, slice off the wing tip and save for stock or discard.  Holding the jointed chicken between your thumb and middle finger, you should be able to easily find the joint and slice through.  If you have extra large chicken pieces or a *dull knife, you may need to bend the joint a little to find the sweet spot.  Do exercise caution, an easier method might be to keep the chicken on the board and slice through the joint, you'll get the hang of it with practice.  Or be lazy and buy the drummettes only. 

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towel.  Add a splash of oil and season liberally with S&P.  Spread evenly onto a sheet pan at least 1/2" apart, fat side down.  Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for about 16-20 minutes, depending on the size, until nicely golden brown and crisp.  I like mine very crispy, so sometimes I'll turn on the broiler for a minute too. 

In a large bowl, add the hot sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Add the cooked wings and mix well.  Serve while hot, you could also keep them warm in a slow cooker for easy snacking.

Here's a classic dip to pair with your classic buffalo chicken wings.  For a healthier version, mix some blue cheese crumbles with plain yogurt, season with pepper and a squirt of lemon juice and sliced green onion. 

*Dull knives aren't good.  Taking them in to a trusted place to get sharpened should be an annual event i.e. cleaning your oven and seasoning your cast ironware.  I like to handle these matters around the new year, as the latter will warm up house as a bonus side effect during the winter.

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