Ditalini and I try to have a special meal on Friday night. It’s our way of marking the end of the work week, less stressful than drinking and partying all night. Sometimes we’ll bring home takeout hot wings from Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings, but they’re never as good as home-made. Honestly, the only reason we resort to takeout is that the task of making hot wings at home seems intimidating, but last night, after Ditalini and Escargot hid the car keys and forced me to make them myself, I have to admit they’re not really that much work (except for cleanup, of course!), and the results are more than worth the effort.
This is my own recipe for buffalo wings. Over the years I’ve experimented with different ways of making them, but finally settled on this simple method. I’ve found that if you keep things simple, your wings will turn out fine every time!
Today, you can buy wings pre-cut into wings and drumettes, and no preparation other than rinsing is necessary. If using whole wings, cut tips off the wings and discard, then cut each wing at the joint. Rinse and let dry on paper towels.
Prepare hot sauce by melting equal amounts of butter and hot sauce (1 stick butter, 1/2 cup hot sauce) in a large metal bowl. Add a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes and a few grinds of pepper.
Deep fry wings in peanut oil, six minutes per batch at 180°C/360°F. Dump fried wings onto paper towels to soak up oil. Immerse each batch of wings in hot sauce and let sit for at least a minute (they longer they sit in the hot sauce, the hotter they’ll be … I give them two to three minutes). Remove wings from sauce with tongs, shake off excess sauce, place in a casserole dish. Between frying & soaking new batches, keep already-prepared wings in a warm oven.
When ready, serve with celery & carrot sticks and your choice of Ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
We use a small home deep fat fryer, which you can see in the photo. The basket will hold six to eight wings. You want them completely immersed in the hot oil when cooking, so don’t stack them in layers. Cooking wings in small batches is an assembly-line operation, so clear off plenty of counter space first and organize your stuff so that everything’s handy.