BEST! Buffalo Chicken Wings & Homemade Blue Cheese Dip

By | November 2, 2019
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Finally!  Just in time for the weekend…the Buffalo chicken wings you have seen pop up on my Weekly Dinner Menu a few times in the last month but which have never appeared in a post.  Not just any Buffalo chicken wings, mind you…these are EPIC!  A pretty strong statement, I know, but you must realize that Michael & I have sampled more than our fair share of wings throughout our {many} years together.  Beginning with our undergraduate years of college at Syracuse University, we have sampled the chicken wings in every city we have lived, slowly making our way from New York to California.  On a few occasions, we have even had them flown in from chicken wing “mecca” itself, The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY.  Now, after testing a few versions here at home, I have “the” recipe and the secret is in the sauce.

My journey to find the best homemade Buffalo chicken wings {baked, NOT fried because, after all, I cleaned the kitchen for a week following my last fried food project} began over at Alton Brown’s place.  Using fresh, organic chicken wings that had been separated at the joint by my butcher {note here that each chicken wing actually consists of two pieces, a “flat” and a “drum”}, I diligently followed the drying out process to ensure crispy skin when baked.  The baked chicken wings turned out beautifully but, after a coating of the sauce, the finished wings had an overly vinegar taste and there was simply not enough sauce.  Alton did not specify any particular type of hot sauce and, although I knew The Anchor Bar uses Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, I went with Tabasco which is what I had on hand.  Little did I know what a difference the right hot sauce would make.

Not satisfied, I headed over to the Foodess, Jennifer Hill, and was encouraged by her endorsement of the Frank’s sauce as well as her doubling the amount of sauce used in the recipe.  This time I used frozen chicken wing pieces from CostCo, instead of fresh, baked in the oven for a bit longer period of time as they were not thawed.  Thinking this short cut would compromise the quality of the finished wing, I was surprised when the meat turned out just as tender on the inside and perfectly crispy golden on the outside as the chicken from my first attempt.

As for the sauce, it was very good, a marked improvement from my first try but there was still something missing, a savory component that could not only balance the heat but deepen the flavor.  At this point however, I knew the secret was buried in the sauce.

A little bit of research led me here to an article titled, “Power-Ranking the 10 Best Hot Sauces on Earth” in which I found my answer.  Kevin Alexander, the article’s author, echoed my opinion of Tabasco Sauce, ranking it from the bottom-up on the list as No. 8…

“…look, I have nothing against Tabasco, but it’s not going any higher up the list because it really is more heat than taste — sure, it makes things hotter, but Tabasco is very heavy on the vinegar side, and basically just tastes like hot vinegar…”

The Frank’s sauce fared a bit better coming in at No. 4…

“it…holds the illustrious title of being the main ingredient in the first buffalo wing sauce created in 1964 at the Anchor Bar and Grill in Buffalo. And that strength might also be its weakness — everything really tastes like buffalo wings, which is a mighty fine problem to have in most cases, but leaves it stuck no higher than fourth-place.”

And the winner is…

 

Mr. Alexander writes:

“In the end, it wasn’t close, friends. But this isn’t a general love letter to run-of-the-mill Sriracha. It has to be the rooster.”

And so the “rooster” it was for our dinner wings last night.  The rooster and a generous helping of butter…that’s all you need to create the best Buffalo wing sauce…ever!

 

Not a lot of cooking going on here…simply melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the sriracha sauce, stirring until mixture is heated through and then toss with the baked wings.

 

Blue cheese dipping sauce is a must and the “Foodess”, Jennifer, hit the nail on the head with her homemade version.  Click here to get to her recipe which I followed, exactly.

 

Raw carrot and celery sticks complete this appetizer, snack or light meal.  Be sure the veggies, as well as the blue cheese dip are nice and cold…the perfect accompaniment to the hot wings.

 

Best! Buffalo Chicken Wings
Serves 10
The secret is in the sauce for this homemade version of the classic bar appetizer.
Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 50 min Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

  1. 6 lbs chicken wings {fresh or frozen} tips discarded, separated at joint into 2 pieces
  2. salt and pepper
  3. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter {1 stick}
  4. ½ cup sriracha hot chili sauce, Huy Fong Foods {the “rooster”} brand
  5. Blue cheese dipping sauce & carrot, celery sticks for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread wings out over two large baking sheets, avoiding overlap (otherwise the wings will steam, rather than crisp up). Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake about 20 minutes {30 minutes if using frozen wing pieces} and then remove baking sheets from oven and turn wing pieces over. Return sheets to oven and bake for another 20 minutes {30 minutes if using frozen wing pieces}, until golden brown, crisp and cooked through.
  3. While the chicken wings bake, melt butter over medium heat. Add sriracha sauce and stir until mixture is heated through.
  4. Transfer wings to a large bowl and toss with sauce. Serve immediately with cold blue cheese dipping sauce, carrot + celery sticks.

Notes

  1. Chicken wings are made up of two pieces…the “flat and the “drum”. If using fresh chicken wings, be sure to have your butcher separate the wing pieces for you, saving a step and time. Frozen chicken wings usually come already separated.
By Kristin | The Dinner Concierge