by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
Nick: “Jessica, you want some buffalo wings?”
Jessica: “Sorry I don't eat buffalo.”
— Nick LaShay and Jessica Simpson
Many stories have circulated regarding how Buffalo Wings originated, but the story I heard most was that a bar in Buffalo NY ran out of food and the owner was desperate to keep the customers drinking beer. Lacking anything but some chicken wings, he cut off the tips, quickly fried them in the deep fryer without taking the time to coat them, then doused them with butter and Tabasco sauce because, as everyone knows, spicy food sells more beer. Buffalo Wings were born and became an instant hit, but more importantly for the bar, caused an exponential rise in beer consumption.
Buffalo Wings soon worked their way across the country as cooks experimented with different ingredients to make them more appealing to their particular clientele. However, any variation other than wings, butter, and Tabasco is hot wings, not Buffalo Wings.
Serving wings with bleu cheese dressing, celery sticks, and crackling cold beer is a given and should not even require mention. The celery and dressing are served on the side, and contrary to popular belief, wings should never be dipped in the dressing. Even many restaurants will tell you the wrong thing.
12 chicken wings
8 tbsp Tabasco sauce
4 tsp melted butter
— salt and pepper to taste
Cut the wings at the joints if not already done so, discarding the wing tips. Fry the wings in oil until crispy, approximately 5-10 minutes (wings need to be thoroughly cooked, brown and crispy—cooking times will vary with heat and amount of oil, number and size of wings, size of fryer, etc).
Remove the wings from the oil and drain on a paper towel, patting dry. Season with salt and pepper. In a pan large enough to hold the fried chicken wings, melt the butter and add the Tabasco sauce, mix together, then add the pre-fried wings. Stir to coat the wings thoroughly and serve immediately.
This is an individual serving. Figure on 10-12 wings per person, double for teenagers and hungry men. A good way to remember the mixture for any amount of wings is the 1-2-3 rule: 1 tsp butter and 2 tbsp of Tabasco for every 3 wings.
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