In honor of fellow food writer J. Scott’s Wilson’s slog through hot wings in Gaston County, I will defend my stance that the only true Buffalo wing around these parts can be had by making them at home.
Sprinkling a fried wing batter with cayenne pepper makes a tasty snack, but it’s not a napkin soaking Buffalo wing. If you use anything but Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot sauce, it’s not a Buffalo wing. If you dip it in anything but blue cheese dressing – again, repeat with me – not a Buffalo wing.
I have eaten several pounds of wings over the years, and still haven’t found anything close to the wings I had with my boyfriend (now my husband – and the wings may have been a factor) near Syracuse University waaay back in the 1980s.
A Syracuse grad, he was virtually bursting at the seams to share his favorite dive and plastic dish of dripping wings with his Southern girlfriend.
Love at first bite, especially when we realized that I really liked the leg parts and he only liked the drumettes.
Since then, wings have had a special significance in our lives. The first time we visited Asheville for a long weekend, we got spot-on perfect Buffalo wings at a tiny place that is now long-gone.
During the heyday of The X-Files, we spent every Friday night at another couple’s house, where they made, you guessed it, perfect Buffalo wings served with ice-cold beer. Something about watching quirky FBI agents and eating wings made a great combination.
Since then, we have found good wings, so-so wings and yuck wings.
So, this winter I think we will return to home-made Buffalos. We can DVR The Cape, watch it on Friday nights and enjoy watching quirky ex-cops while eating wings.
1 cup salt
1 quart water
Buffalo Wings (Sort of)
1 dozen wings, snipped into leg and drummet parts
1/2 stick butter
generous portions of Tabasco and Frank’s Red Hot sauce
During the day, soak the wings in a brine solution.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a baking sheet generously with cooking spray.
Rinse the wings well and pat them completely dry.
Bake the wings for 20 minutes, until well browned.
Melt butter, pour into a large bowl and whisk in Tabasco and Frank’s to your taste.
Remove wings from oven, toss into the butter mixture and coat.
Serve with thinly sliced celery sticks and chunky blue cheese dressing.