America's Test Kitchen: Buffalo Wings for your Super Bowl Party

[Scroll down to view recipe and video]

Super Bowl XLVIII (that's the number 48) is a couple of weeks away and the Denver Broncos will be facing the Seattle Seahawks. There are already a few givens: the Super Bowl will be played in MetLife Stadium (home of the New York Jets and New York Giants of the NFL), Bruno Mars is performing the half time show, billions of dollars will be spent on 30 second commercials, and (even more importantly) millions of chicken wings will be consumed for this 3-4 hour event. Chicken wings are a common staple for this annual event and is in fact the ultimate party food whether it'd be in a bar or someone's house all across the nation. You're sure to enjoy these wings whether you're a Dallas Cowboys fan or you root for the New England Patriots.

Buffalo Wings for your Super Bowl party
Buffalo Wings is to the Super Bowl as Turkey is to Thanksgiving
Typical Super Bowl snacks include tacos, nachos (Que Bueno nacho cheese from Costco is the best), pizza, pretzels, chips and salsa, but chicken wings are by far my favorite for this annual event. Common places where you can get some good chicken wings are Buffalo Wild Wings (ie Asian Zing, Caribbean Jerk, Mango Habanero), Wingstop (ie garlic parmesan, lemon pepper, atomic), or KFC (the sauceless hot wings are actually my favorite there over the honey barbecue!). My sister has a friend who owns a Wingstop and supposedly they ran out of chicken wings during last year's Super Bowl. Luckily for us, we don't have to rely on restaurant food to get some good buffalo wings for the big game. We can just plan ahead and make our own by going to the grocery store earlier in the week and preparing them on Sunday in time for the big game. The grocery store usually sells a pack of wings (drummettes and wingettes), so you can get yourself several packs and cook buffalo wings from scratch. Now I haven't tried these same wings as oven fried, but that might be something I may want to explore as a healthier alternative for any big game: NBA playoffs, Stanley Cup Final, FIFA World Cup Soccer, NCAA March Madness, Winter Olympics in Sochi, a Manny Pacquiao championship bout, World Series, World Series of Poker, or even the National Spelling Bee on ESPN 8 ("The Ocho")! You may even want to make these for National Chicken Wing Day which is in a few months.

America's Test Kitchen's recipe for buffalo wings (in the episode Party Foods, Season 3, Episode 1) is the answer to making your own buffalo wings for your Super Bowl party. What I like about this recipe is that you can adjust the level of heat depending on the palates of you and your guests or you can even make 2 batches of wings - spicy and mild. Also, one thing I learned about this recipe which I didn't know before was the use of cornstarch to crisp the exterior of the wing. I've always wondered how KFC, Wingstop, and Buffalo Wild Wings did it, and now I know. In addition to great flavor, I like my wings to give a good crunch when you first bite into it. Texture is as important as flavor here. Speaking of flavor, in general I do like Frank's RedHot hot sauce which is the common sauce for buffalo wings. If you don't have Frank's or your store is all out of stock, you can always use Crystal hot sauce which is just as good in my opinion. Both have very similar flavors that I'm beginning to think that they're the same sauce put in 2 different bottles.

Now, let's be realistic, buffalo wings aren't exactly the healthiest food you can eat and I never really understood why carrot and celery sticks were always paired with buffalo wings. Is it just for decoration? I don't know. This is a Super Bowl party. We're eating wings, pizza, fries, nachos, and anything that is remotely unhealthy, so there's no room in my stomach for veggies unless it's guacamole, salsa, or onion rings. If you need vegetables to help you feel less guilty, then by all means include them. I always discard the celery and carrot sticks whenever I order buffalo wings at a restaurant anyway, so I don't even bother serving them whenever I make these wings for my guests. I do, however, make the blue cheese dressing though. I find that the dairy goes well with the spiciness of the buffalo wings when you use it as a dipping sauce for your wings - the dressing really does complement the wings. I've used the dressing as a condiment for chicken nuggets, fries, and even as a spread for a burger or sandwich. The recipe for that is below as well. If you don't feel like making the blue cheese dipping sauce, I sometimes use ranch dressing. You can just use a bottle of your favorite store bought ranch dressing as a dipping sauce instead of the blue cheese. I know some people don't like blue cheese because of its pungent flavor, but I'm one of the few that enjoy the taste of blue cheese. Or better yet if you don't like blue cheese, you can make these buffalo wings and give your guests a variety of other dipping sauces to choose from: ranch, ketchup, honey mustard, creamy parmesan, chili lime, teriyaki, curry, Cajun, and even an Asian peanut sauce just to name a few.

FlavorFool's Notes

  • I don't bother serving the buffalo wings with celery and carrots. I do, however, like making the blue cheese dressing as a dipping sauce for the wings or use any store bought ranch dressing instead.
  • If you don't have Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce, you can always use Crystal Hot Sauce which tastes the same to me.
  • Adjust the amount of heat by the amount of Tobasco you use in the buffalo wing sauce. I like my wings on the milder side (unlike Wingstop's Atomic chicken wings) but with a little bit of heat enough to make your nose run a little but not to the point where your chugging a glass of water for every wing eaten.
  • Feel free to use the blue cheese dressing for other food like French fries, chicken nuggets, or as a spread for your sandwich or hamburger.
  • Have plenty of paper towels for your guests because these buffalo wings are finger-licking good! This is definitely a worthwhile Super Bowl recipe for your gameday party.
  • Super Bowl Buffalo Wings Recipe

    America's Test Kitchen - season 3, episode 1, Party Foods
    Serves 6 to 8

    Frank's RedHot Original Sauce is not super spicy. We like to combine it with a hotter sauce, such as Tobasco, to bring up the heat.

    Ingredients

    Sauce
    2 tbsp Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
    1/2 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce [Crystal Hot Sauce is just as good]
    2 tsp cider vinegar
    1 tbsp dark brown sugar
    4 tbsps unsalted butter

    Wings
    3 lbs chicken wings (about 18 wings)
    3 tbsp cornstarch
    1 tsp table salt
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 - 2 quarts peanut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying

    Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables [I left out the veggies]
    2 1/2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
    3 tbsp sour cream
    3 tbsp buttermilk
    2 tsp white wine vinegar
    2 tbsp mayonnaise
    2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
    4 stalks celery, cut into thin sticks

    Instructions

    1. For the Sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in vineger, brown sugars, and hot sauces until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

    2. For the Wings: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in large Dutch oven [dutch oven is good because it holds heat really well] over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While oil heats, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Dry chicken with paper towels and place pieces in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over wings and toss with rubber spatula until evenly coated. Fry half of chicken wings until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 mins. With slotted spoon, transfer fried chicken wings to baking sheet. Keep first batch of chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings.

    3. For the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables: Mash blue cheese and buttermilk in small bowl with fork until mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds. Stir in cider vinegar, mayo, and sour cream. Taste and adjust seasoning with pepper and salt. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

    4. To Serve: Pour sauce mixture into large bowl, add chicken wings, and toss until wings are evenly coated. Serve immediately with the celery and carrot sticks [I didn't bother including the vegetables] and blue cheese dressing on side.

    5. To Make Ahead: The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hrs. Toss them with the sauce just before serving.


    Video: America's Test Kitchen Buffalo Wings for your Super Bowl party

    4 comments:

    Mike Jayne said...

    I'm going to try these tonight, thanks!

    FlavorFool said...

    Hi @Mike, buffalo wings definitely sound good for dinner...good luck and I hope they turn out delicious!

    Mike Jayne said...

    These were awesome! I didn't do veggies either. Def making these again! Mmmm-mmm

    FlavorFool said...

    Hi @Mike, I'm glad to hear that these buffalo wings were a hit. It's definitely a nice feeling when a new recipe turns out great the first time you try it.

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