Wind Beneath My Wings

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Ranch Dip

Buffalo wings are the hero of any casual get-together, be it game day, poker night, or just relaxing with some friends and cold beer. Personally, I don’t need any occasion to enjoy these perma-crispy, tangy little treats, though I do enjoy them most when my wife and son go away for the weekend to the in-laws. That’s when I make a big basket and settle in with a good movie. Talk about comfort.

Honestly, there isn’t much to chicken wings. You got the wing, split into two parts, the buffalo sauce, and some veggies and dip just for good measure. In this post I want to share a few tips and tricks on how to achieve perfect restaurant style wings every time. I wouldn’t have thought about doing a blog post on Buffalo Wings had I not been asked every time I make them how I do it.

Any fan of wings knows every restaurant has a different take on them whether it’s Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I.Friday’s, Hooter’s, or just a local pub. Sometimes even the same restaurant makes them differently, depending on who’s in the kitchen, and that can be very frustrating. Some dry-fry, others batter and fry, and some bake. To me, I love them all as long as the sauce is perfect and the wings are crispy …and stay crispy.

I’m going to give you those three methods above for preparing Buffalo Wings, that way you can choose which method is right for you, or provide a little variety to your guests the next time you entertain. Or just sit back with a wicked flick as you indulge.

Method One – Batter and Fry

This method involves marinating your wings for several hours to overnight in a buttermilk mixture.

For the Wings and Marinade:

  • 1kg chicken wings, tips removed
  • 1L buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  1. Cut off wing tips, discard. Split each wing at the joint.
  2. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk and all the listed seasonings. Stir well.
  3. Place wings in marinade and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Flour Mixture:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2L Peanut Oil, for frying

To Cook the Wings:

  1. In a large pot or deep fryer, heat oil to 180°C and up to 200°C, if your fryer can handle the heat.
  2. Place the seasoned flour in a strong resealable plastic bag and add wings, but don’t overcrowd. Shake the bag to coat the wings.
  3. Knock off excess flour and drop into oil, again, don’t overcrowd. Turn heat down to 175°C and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve.
  5. Either pour Buffalo sauce onto the wings and shake to coat, or serve sauce for dipping.

Method Two – The Dry Fry

This method requires using just the flour mixture and oil, but no marinade.

Prepare the Wings:

  1. Cut off wing tips, discard. Split each wing at the joint.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 liter of cold water and ½ cup salt. Stir well.
  3. Place wings in the brine and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Flour Mixture:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2L Peanut Oil, for frying

To Cook the Wings:

  1. In a large pot or deep fryer, heat oil to 180°C and up to 200°C, if your fryer can handle the heat.
  2. Rinse the wings and pat dry.
  3. Place the seasoned flour in a strong resealable plastic bag and add wings, but don’t overcrowd. Shake the bag to coat the wings.
  4. Knock off excess flour and drop into oil, again, don’t overcrowd. Turn heat down to 175°C and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve.
  6. Either pour Buffalo sauce onto the wings and shake to coat, or serve sauce for dipping.

Method Three – Bake

This method omits both the oil and the marinade.

Prepare the Wings:

  1. Cut off wing tips, discard. Split each wing at the joint.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 liter of cold water and ½ cup salt. Stir well.
  3. Place wings in the brine and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Flour Mixture:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp oil

To Cook the Wings:

  1. Preheat oven to highest temperature, preferably 250°C.
  2. Rinse the wings and pat dry.
  3. Place the seasoned flour in a strong resealable plastic bag and add wings, but don’t overcrowd. Shake the bag to coat the wings.
  4. Knock off excess flour and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil and coat well.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes. This method will give you a very crispy, yet dry wing. If you prefer a juicier wing, then turn heat down to 190°C and bake for same amount of time.
  7. Either pour Buffalo sauce onto the wings and shake to coat, or serve sauce for dipping.


Buffalo Sauce

  • Servings: Makes a bit more than 1 cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 bottle (177ml) Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Heinz’s Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tsp of Ultimate Giv’er Sauce (optional, for suicide wings)*
  • 1 egg yolk, for an extra hit of richness, optional
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine hot sauce, chilli sauce, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter. Swirl the pot in circular movements to incorporate butter. No need to stir, but be sure the butter is fully melted and incorporated into sauce before you stop swirling the pan. Otherwise it will split.

*If you prefer hotter wings, or as they’re called: Suicide Wings, simply add a hot habanero or ghost chilli sauce. I highly recommend AIF’s Ultimate Giv’er Sauce, http://www.maritimemadness.com. Not only is this hot sauce the hottest I’ve ever tried, it’s also the best I’ve ever tasted, and an absolute must for any chillihead.



Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing

  • Servings: Makes 2 Cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Tip: Omit the blue cheese for a simple delicious Ranch Dressing.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 100g blue cheese
  • ¼ tsp Xanthan gum, optional, for store-bought consistency

*Use sour cream instead of buttermilk for a thicker consistency, if you’re not planning to use Xanthan gum.

  1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the xanthan gum.  Mix well.
  2. If using xanthan gum, dissolve the powder in 1 tsp of oil and slowing add to the mixture whilst on high speed. It will instantly thicken giving you that perfect restaurant or store-bought quality.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

Crumble extra blue cheese into the dip for a more chuncky texture and intense flavour.

Serve with veggies and your choice of Buffalo Wings.

Enjoy!

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14 thoughts on “Wind Beneath My Wings

  1. Great description of all the ways to make this awesome combination of flavors. The brine is a good idea for the baked wings; I’ve only marinated them in extra sauce beforehand. Panko crumbs are another good option for baked wings, but the wings had to be on a cookie rack or roaster in order to get crispy all around.

    Liked by 1 person

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