Superbowl Pick - Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings are "man food" in our family. And I don't mean that the men are the only ones who loves these wings, I mean the men are the ones who MAKE the wings. Pretty awesome for us ladies who need a night off from cooking once in a while. My husband and my Dad are both pretty good buffalo wing makers. This technique and recipe comes from either my Dad or my Uncle Jim (or combination of them both). Everyone loves buffalo wings, but not everyone can handle the extra calories from deep frying and extra butter. So I am going to show you how to make these MUCH healthier - baking instead of frying, and only using a minimal amount of butter. And the best part is that these taste just as good, if not better, than the fried version you are used to. I will show you how to cut up a chicken wing into three pieces, but if it still intimates you, you can certainly purchase the wings already prepared into drumsticks and wingettes. Let's goooooooo!
Buffalo Hot Wings
3-4 pounds chicken wings, prepared as shown below
non-stick cooking spray -or- 1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 bottle of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of salt & pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position rack in upper part of oven. Spray a baking sheet generously with non-stick cooking spray -or- spread 1 Tbsp of olive oil over entire baking sheet. Depending on the amount of wings you are making and the size of your baking sheet, you might need to use two baking sheets. I have a "designated" baking sheet just for chicken wings, since it gets a little messy. Using a plastic cutting board (do not use a wooden cutting board) and a VERY sharp knife, cut your chicken wings into three parts: drumette, wingette, and tip.Here is what a chicken wing look like when you purchase it whole.
Place your sharp knife in between the drumette part and the wingette part. Cut in one sharp motion right through the joint. If your knife doesn't go through easily, re-position and make sure you are right over the joint and try again.
It should be a clean cut.
Now you have two pieces.
Next, cut the tip off the wingette portion using the same method. Cutting right over the joint will be the easiest way to go right through it.
Perfect. Discard the tip or save in a big ziplock in the freezer for making stock.
Now you have the two parts used for making buffalo wings: the drumette and the wingette. These are seriously what their "official" names are, I didn't make this up.
Place the drumette and wingettes on the prepared baking sheet in rows. They can be pretty close together, but don't stack them. They should be in a single layer.
Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully drain any excess grease and oil on baking sheet. This is important because they will not get crisp if there is too much oil on the pan. After draining grease, turn the wings over to other side. You will probably need to use a metal spatula to loosen them from the pan before flipping them over. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until wings are crispy on second side. You want the wings to be crispy on the outside, but still tender and moist on the inside. If you over cook them they will be very dry and not as good, so keep a close eye on the wings during this stage.Prepare your sauce in a small sauce pan over very low heat. Melt the butter and then add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottle of hot sauce. We will only use Frank's Red Hot sauce, because it is the best. No doubt. I like to have extra sauce to pour over my wings so we use about 3/4 of the bottle. Add the spices and continue cooking over low heat. Once you see tiny bubbles start to form - shut the heat off. The longer your sauce cooks, and especially if it boils, the hotter it will be. It will be plenty hot enough at this stage, so remove from the heat for the sake of your nostrils.
Now that you have removed your wings from the oven, you are ready to dip into the sauce.
See how crispy and perfectly these are cooked? My husband is pretty good at this.
Dip the wings, one by one, into the sauce until coated well on all sides. Place in serving bowl and pour any remaining sauce in a separate server to drizzle over top.