Buffalo Wings

From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Party Foods

  • Shopping list
  • Print

Why this recipe works:

Why this recipe works: Buffalo wings are the ultimate bar snack. Great wings boast juicy meat, a crisp coating, and a spicy, slightly sweet, and vinegary sauce. But dry, flabby wings are often the norm and the sauce can be scorchingly hot. We wanted perfectly cooked wings, coated in a… read more

Why this recipe works: Buffalo wings are the ultimate bar snack. Great wings boast juicy meat, a crisp coating, and a spicy, slightly sweet, and vinegary sauce. But dry, flabby wings are often the norm and the sauce can be scorchingly hot. We wanted perfectly cooked wings, coated in a well-seasoned sauce—good enough to serve with our homemade creamy blue cheese ­dressing.

We coated the wings with cornstarch for a supercrisp exterior and deep-fried (rather than roasting, sautéing, or pan-frying) the wings for the best texture. Then we deepened the flavor of the traditional hot sauce by adding brown sugar and cider vinegar. And for heat, we chose Frank’s RedHot Original Sauce, which is traditional, but not very spicy, so we added a little Tabasco for even more kick.

less

Buffalo Wings

Great buffalo wings should have juicy meat with a crisp coating and a spicy, slightly sweet, and vinegary sauce.

Watch the Video

Serves 6 to 8

Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce is not terribly spicy. We like to combine it with a more potent hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to bring up the heat. You will need to double the ingredients in the blue cheese dressing.

Ingredients

  • Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Wings
  • 1 - 2 quarts peanut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 pounds chicken wings (18 wings), cut up (see illustrations below)
  • Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables
  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into thin sticks
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices

Instructions

  1. 1. For the Sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in hot sauces, brown sugar, and vinegar until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

    2. For the Wings: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While oil heats, mix together cayenne, black pepper, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Dry chicken with paper towels and place pieces in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over wings and toss with rubber spatula until evenly coated. Fry half of chicken wings until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer fried chicken wings to baking sheet. Keep first batch of chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings.

    3. For the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables: Mash blue cheese and buttermilk in small bowl with fork until mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds. Stir in remaining ingredients (up to carrot and celery sticks). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

    4. To Serve: Pour sauce mixture into large bowl, add chicken wings, and toss until wings are uniformly coated. Serve immediately with the carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on side.

    5. To Make Ahead: The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce just before serving.

Technique

Cutting Up Chicken Wings

1. With a chef’s knife, cut into the skin between the two larger sections of the wings until you hit the joint.

2. Bend back the two sections to pop and break the joint.

3. Cut through the skin and flesh to completely separate the two meaty portions.

4. Hack off the wingtip and discard.

In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection