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Is It Getting Hot in Here or Is It Just My Wings?

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Apparently, the kooks here at LGM think it’s cool to talk about food. So I’m gonna!

Until I perfected my own recipe, Buffalo wings were a food I enjoyed in theory more than in practice. Often the wings I tried were alternately sweet, bland and too evocative of BBQ or bitter and vinegary. Blech. My ideal wing is comprised of two crucial components: very crisp, golden skin and a clingy sauce that is bright and tangy with the tiniest hint of sweetness.

Hey, those are some nice wings, too. "To Market" by B. Spencer

I thought I had created the ultimate hot wing until two nights ago, when the happiest of accidents made me think that it may be time to change my formula.

Normally, I make wings using Frank’s Redhot because it is consistently the top-rated hot sauce. So, a couple a nights ago I go into my fridge–having promised my husband and wing fanatic I’d make wings–to find we do not have any Frank’s Redhot. In fact, all we have in the fridge is a little bottle of Cholula and a big bottle of Sriracha. I proceed with the wings, but I am pretty worried about what kind of frankensauce is going to result. Well, it ended up being the best batch of wings I’d ever made.

Sriracha-cha!

I originally chalked up my success to the weird combination of sauces I had on hand, but I actually think the Cholula was not a key factor; I really think my success was all due to the Sriracha. Sriracha is thicker, sweeter, hotter, and more garlicky than Frank’s Redhot (and many hot sauces, I’d imagine). So it adds a depth of flavor and substantial clinginess that my formula had been missing. I think I’m in love.

Here is my revised recipe for great wings:

First you have to crisp the wings. For a couple of years I made them by roasting them in the oven, but recently gave that up in favor of frying them, simply because in order to render enough fat to get them crisp, you pretty much have to destroy your oven. Nevertheless, it’s an option. If you’d like to oven-“fry” your wings, dry them, toss them with salt and pepper, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, giving them room to breath, put them in a 475 degree oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. When they’re done, toss them with your sauce.

Alternately, you can deep fry your wings. Bring your peanut or canola oil (or any oil that can take the heat) up to 350 degrees. Add your wings, frying in batches so as not to bring down the temperature of the oil. Fry for approximately 13 minutes. Dry on paper towels and toss them with your sauce.

My Revised Hot Wings Sauce Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Redhot sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • a generous pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Stir over med-low heat, ’til combined and heated through. Makes enough for 5 pounds of wings.

 

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