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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Buffalo Sauce

Why Bother?  Because I'm from Buffalo, that's why we bother!  Sure, I haven't lived there in almost ten years, but it's in my blood (we undergo a transfusion of wing sauce as children, it's how we stay so warm in the winter).  Not only am I going to share with you my favorite Buffalo wing sauce recipe, I am going to lay down the rules when it comes to chicken wings.  This is very serious business.  Get a pad of paper and a pen, you'll want to take notes.

Rule #1 - Do not EVER bread your chicken wings!  Buffalo chicken wings are naked, never breaded.  Ever.  While in Madison, WI I ordered some Buffalo wings from my favorite pizza place (Hello Glass Nickel!).  They arrived with a thick, crunchy, bread coating.  I was appauled.  Stick with making your delicious pizza, you're doing it wrong with your wings.

If you bread your chicken wings, I do not know what you are doing.  Perhaps you're making yourself a little fried chicken drumstick?  Maybe you're thinking the sauce needs something to stick to?  Don't be crazy and put down the breadcrumbs.

Rule #2 - If it isn't spicy, it isn't Buffalo sauce.  I have had a series of butter-rich, lack-luster "Buffalo wings" in the past.  There is a place right around the corner from our current apartment that sells Buffalo wings, touted as "Nuclear!"  Either I have fried all my taste buds, or someone forgot to add the hot sauce.  You need the heat!  I'm not telling you that habanero peppers need to be involved, but you've got to sweat a little!  They should be just spicy enough that you think twice about rubbing your eye after eating a wing.

Rule #3 - Serve 'em with a side of blue cheese.  I do not want to hear of anyone eating their buffalo sauce with ranch dressing.  It is so very, very wrong.  This is a mistake that I have seen many a midwesterner make.  It most often happens when someone offers you a Buffalo chicken sub sandwich.  To get it clear, a Buffalo-style chicken sub should be as follows (and no different) - crispy chicken tenders slathered in wing sauce, lettuce, blue cheese dressing and provolone cheese.  Make this sandwich now, it will change your life.

That's it.  Those are my simple rules about chicken wings.  If you don't want to follow the wing rules, you must call your food "chicken wings" sans the Buffalo. 

If you want to take your wings to the next level, you make your own sauce.  This is the wing sauce that my family has been making all my life.  It's spicy, sweet and tangy.  If you are lacking one or two of these ingredients, I'm okay with the tried and true "melt a stick of butter, add a bottle of hot sauce" method.  You might even be able to find the original Buffalo sauce on the shelf at your supermarket.  If you come across "Anchor Bar" Buffalo sauce, that's the one, the original.  Buy the hottest variety that they sell and whip up a batch!  Just don't bread your chicken.

Are you originally from the Buffalo area too?  What are some of your Buffalo wing rules?

One Year Ago: Poppy Seed Bagels

Buffalo Wing Sauce
A Wilde Family Original

This is how we make our Buffalo sauce in the Wilde household.  When at home, it is always made by WildeDad and I didn't know how to make this sauce until last summer.  WildeBrother learned how to make it before he moved out, I think it was part of his agreement (I'll move out if you show me how to make the sauce).  I've made this a few times and I'm still working on getting it just like WildeDads version.  You can change up the amount of hot sauce, worchestershire sauce and mustard until you find the flavor profile that you like.

8 tbsp (1 stick) butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 tsp hot sauce (depending on taste)
Dash of chili powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp yellow Mustard
Dash garlic powder
Dash onion powder
Salt to taste

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add lemon juice and whisk until opaque.  Add ketchup and whisk until mixture turns bright orange.  Add remaining ingredients

How to make chicken wings...

Bring chicken wings to room temperature.  Rinse them off and pat them dry.  Do nothing else to them.  Resist the urge to bread or coat them in anything.

Bring 3 cups canola oil to 375 F.  Fry chicken wings in smallish batches.  You don't want the temperature of your oil to fall below 370 F.  Fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  They should be crispy!  Remove from the oil and set on a plate lined with a few paper towels.  Fry the next batch.

Put all chicken wings in a large bowl and add wing sauce.  Toss to coat.  Serve with blue cheese dressing, celery and carrots!
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