Tuesday Test Kitchen - Baked Buffalo Wings

Posted by David Bowley on

In the land of the free & the home of the brave they love sport, their second amendment rights & anyone with the surname Bush. 

They also love bite sized pieces of tangy, hot, juicy chicken, paired with Sunday football & ice cold beer. 
Buffalo Wings, to be exact. 

Have you noticed? Low brow food, once the domain of chain restaurants & greasy spoon take-away's, is gettin' pimp'd. Seems evermore hipster bars are spruiking these finger-licking morsels of goodness. 

But no need to hand over your hard earned at your local dive, because this kind of Southern comfort food is cheap & easy to make at home. The trick is in the bad ass sauce & baking. 

So as our American allies nurse their 4th of July hangovers, tuck this recipe under your wing.

Here's what you need: [snack for 4]
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. 

1kg Chicken Wings. Cut into sections [Drums & Flats]. Discard the wing tips. 

Spice rub:
1.5 tbsp salt
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Mix together in a bowl then dust the wings. Make sure they're evenly & completely coated with the spice rub as it's essential to achieve crispy skin during the baking process. Baking powder is the key ingredient here. It mimics the effect you get from a deep fryer, without the oil & fat. 

Take the dusted wings & evenly space them on a baking rack over a flat sheet pan. Lay some foil underneath as there will be hot juices dripping. The baking rack is important but not essential. Suspending the wing slightly above the tray allows heat convection around the entire wing during baking. It's the surest way to ensure crispy skin.  

Bake for 20 minutes at 220 degrees. 
Turn the wings & return to bake for a further 20 minutes at 220 degrees. 
Turn the wings one more time & bake for a final 10* minutes. 
*the size of the wings will impact the total time. Aim for brown & crispy wings. Small portions require a shorter final baking period. 

During that final baking phase you should move on to the hot sauce...

Hot Sauce:
75g butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
30ml vinegar
120ml Cholula Original Hot Sauce 
30ml Worsterchire Sauce
[this is our recipe. You can experiment with different hot sauces, include ketchup, more butter, honey and loads of other options]
Melt the butter then introduce the hot sauce & vinegar. Bring up to the boil to blow off some of the volatility from the vinegar. Add & mix the garlic powder, cayenne pepper & worsterchire sauce.  
Simmer & mix well. 
Adjust to taste. Hotter? More cayenne pepper. 
Not enough acidity? A splash more vinegar. 

Now the wings are brown & crispy place in a large mixing bowl & add your hot sauce. Coat the wings gently [so as to preserve that crispy skin we worked so hard for] but completely.

The final thing you'll need is a remedy for the hot sauce induced forehead sweats & a classic buffalo wing side; Blue Cheese Sauce. 

Blue Cheese Sauce.
1/3 blue cheese.
1/3 greek yoghurt.
1/3 mayonnaise.
A small handful of chopped celery. 
Combine and mix very well. 

You're ready to serve!
Blue cheese sauce with carrot & celery sticks on the side.
Our wine match? Ice cold Pirate Life Pale Ale.

Buffalo Wings Chicken Wings food Tuesday Test Kitchen

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