Buffalo Chicken Wings
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But how has the chicken wing become a part of the American culture?
Chicken wings that have been baked or fried and coated with a
signature spicy hot sauce and served with bleu cheese dressing and celery
sticks have become known all over the world as Buffalo Wings. They have
nothing to do with a buffalo but have a lot to do with a restaurant in Buffalo, New
York, called the Anchor Bar.
They are a tribute to American ingenuity. They use a part of the chicken that was often used for chicken soup or thrown away. They are a tribute also to the "serendipity" that is also a part of
our heritage, in that the dish seems to have not been planned but just sort of
happened, like lots of things we have in American culture. Although like
most dishes there is some question over its true origin, this story is for
the most part undisputed. Theresa Bellisimo seems to have stumbled upon
this combination quite by accident.
Read more about the origin of this dish here
How does a dish like this become a part of so many menus and have the kind
of appeal that would lead a major pizza chain, Dominoes, to put them on
their menu? In many homes the Superbowl munchies would be incomplete now without these
wings. Are they really that good? Well maybe you should find out. They are
the kind of dish that you make up and people go WOW these are dang good!
They are not pretty or artsy or chic ...they are just very good and have a
delicious combination of flavors that induce people to order them over and over.
Part of the celebration of this dish is that a family has trademarked it,
marketed the sauce, and made their restaurant a place that celebrities want
to visit when they come through Buffalo. This is an example of the American
dream, part of what this country was built on. I know there is a desire for gain
mixed in with the commercialization of almost anything, but often that is how a good thing
like a recipe gets spread amongst us.
Now ...do you want to order some of that special Wing sauce that has that
trick flavor? Or do you want to express your Yankee do-it-yourself
tradition and try the reasonable copycat version that reveals what is so special
about the sauce?
To order the sauce from the Anchor Bar go here
Just remember when you serve these you are displaying the country's colors
with red chicken, and the white and blue that the blue cheese dressing
represents. (Perhaps here we should give credit to the French, for
inventing Bleu Cheese, and to the Spanish-Americans for the Tabasco sauce! Another
great example of our multi-cultured country!)
This is a good hands-on meal and one that is truly satisfying. Enjoy these
"Wings of the free" as you watch a ball game or share good
conversation ...and give a toast to democracy and the American dream.
RECIPES FOR BUFFALO WINGS
Original Anchor Bar Recipe
Here is the original recipe created by Ms. Teresa Bellissimo, owner of
the Anchor Bar and Restaurant, in Buffalo, NY. It is taken from
Totally Hot! The Ultimate Hot Pepper Cookbook.
4 to 5 Lbs Chicken wings
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt (if desired)
4 C Vegetable Oil
4 Tbs butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
5 Tbs Louisiana-brand hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1. Chop off the tip of each chicken wing, and discard it. Chop the wing
in half (cutting at the joint) to make 2 pieces. Grind on fresh black
pepper and sprinkle with salt if desired.
2. Heat the oil over high heat in a deep skillet, Dutch oven, or deep-fat
fryer until it starts to pop and sizzle (around 400 degrees F). Add
half the chicken wings and cook until they're golden and crisp,
stirring or shaking occasionally. When done, remove them to drain on
paper towels and cook the remaining wings.
3. Melt the butter or margarine over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, add
the hot sauce and the 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Stir well and remove from
the flame immediately.
4. Place the chicken on a warm serving platter, pour the sauce on top, and
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 93 17:27:55 PDT
This is a wing recipe from a guy who used to cook wings for a living in
Get some Durkee's Frank's Original Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, there
is "no" adequate substitute, you may have to ask your grocer to order it,
or call Durkee/French's at 714-526-3363. If it's the little bottles, get
two or three of them, I get the gallon jug from a restaurant supply place,
cheap! It used to be called Frank's Red Hot Pepper Sauce, then it was
Durkee's Louisiana Hot Sauce, but there already was a brand name Louisiana
Hot Sauce. Still tastes the same!
Acquire some margarine. Only margarine works right (correct taste and
resistance to burning). Neither oil nor butter will substitute.
Get the wings cut up, and start heating up the frying grease. Some
revisionist (or health-conscious) types insist on other cooking methods,
but there is nothing like the real crisp-on-the-outside moist
-and-chewy-on-the-inside texture of fried wings.
Make up the sauce. Put the Durkee's and margarine into a skillet or
saute pan big enough to comfortably hold one fryer-load of wings. The
total amount of sauce at once should be about a quarter of an inch in the
bottom of the pan.
The proportions are:
Equal parts is the nominal starting point (called "medium" in Buffalo).
A bit of tingle, but not very spicy.
Undiluted Durkee's doesn't taste as good, but is pretty hot. Three to
one, Durkee's to margarine is about as hot as I like it.
For the really timid (like kids) just a splash of Durkee's in the margarine
gives a little flavor but no noticeable hot. The idea is to cook up the
Durkee's and margarine to a bit thicker consistency. It should simmer for
5 minutes or so, then be kept hot.
You can make up just one batch of sauce for a bunch of wings. You can just
add more ingredients to the pan as you use up the sauce. When you add more
ingredients, you can adjust the spiciness.
I use this to satisfy everybody, I start out with all the margarine I plan
to use, and put in just a splash of Durkee's. That makes a few wings for
the kids. Then a bunch more Durkee's to make the wings medium. Still more
Durkee's to get it the way I like it.
Fry the wings. They're cooked when the bubbles slow down significantly.
This takes seeing it once to know just how much bubbling corresponds to
"done," but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get it right. At home,
I put the "drumettes" in first, because they take a minute or two longer
to cook. As always with frying, be sure that you don't put in so much
food that the temperature of the fat drops below 325 or so, and have the
heat on so it gets back up to 375 ASAP.
As the wings finish cooking, take them out and drain thoroughly. I
generally put them in a strainer held over the fat. Don't pile them up
in a bowl, or the fat will cool and congeal before it runs off!
Once the wings are drained, put them in the sauce and get the wings covered
with sauce. The official restaurant way to do this is to toss them in the
air, but your stove cleaner may not appreciate this.
Use tongs to pick the wings out of the pan and let the sauce drain off.
Toss the wings on a grill or in a hot oven for a few minutes at this point
to "bake on" the sauce.
Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the side. Yes, the
BCD *is* for the wings! But make sure it is good BCD, with nice chunks of
good cheese. (One of the sadder realizations of my growing up is that there
are some things you just can't get, restaurants get a special Kraft dressing
that comes only in five-gallon containers that must be continuously
refrigerated. Great stuff, not available to you and me.)
Blue Cheese Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbs. finely chopped onion 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley 1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbs. lemon juice 1 tbs. white vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
Combine and chill for an hour or longer. Makes 2.5 cups.
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