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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Comfort Food Series Sneak Addition: Buffalo Wings

Hubby begged me to make him some chicken wings this past weekend.  Wings are definitely a comfort food and I thought my readers might enjoy knowing how to make them at home!  They are kind of a pain in the ass to make (requires a double fry) but they turn out amazingly delicious and just as good (if not better) than your favorite wing joint.  

This recipe calls for cornstarch in lieu of flour to help the skin crisp up and fry to a beautiful brown.  I highly recommend using Frank's RedHot for the sauce instead of other brands; it makes a classic flavored buffalo sauce.  I like to fry in peanut oil because of the high flashpoint, don’t use olive oil or you’re just asking for trouble. 

So next time you feel like dirtying every dish in your kitchen, give these tasty little morsels a try!!!

Buffalo Chicken Wings
3 quarts peanut oil
1 ½ cups cornstarch
3 ½ pounds bone in, skin-on chicken wings
Salt & Pepper

1 cup Frank’s RedHot
2-5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed (to your liking)
¼ stick of butter

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200°.  Measure 2 inches of oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 350°.  (Use an instant read thermometer that registers high temperatures or clip a candy / deep fry thermometer onto the side of the pan.)  Line 2 baking sheets with wire racks; set aside.

Place ½ cup of cornstarch into a pie plate.  Set a large mesh strainer over a large bowl.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Working with several pieces at a time, coat the chicken thoroughly with cornstarch, then transfer to the strainer and shake vigorously to remove all but a thin coating of cornstarch.  Transfer the chicken to one of the wire racks.

Whisk the remaining 1 cup cornstarch, water and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl to form a smooth batter.  When the oil is hot, finish coating the chicken by adding half of the chicken to the batter and turn to coat well.  Using tongs, remove the chicken from the batter, one piece at a time, allowing any excess batter to drip back into the bowl.  Add to the hot oil.

Fry the chicken, stirring to prevent the pieces from sticking together and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain an oil temperature of 350°, until the chicken begins to crisp, turn slightly golden, and registers about 90° on the thermometer, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the fried chicken to the second prepared wire rack, and set aside for 5-6 minutes.  Batter and fry the remaining chicken during this time.

Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels, and return the oil to 350° (if necessary) over medium-high heat.  Return the first batch of fried chicken to the oil and continue to fry until the exterior is very crisp, deep golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer registers about 160°, 3 to 6 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and keep warm in the oven.  Repeat with the second batch; let the second batch drain for about 1 minute.  (The unsauced chicken can be held for up to an hour in the 200° oven.)

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add Frank’s RedHot and stir until combined.  (I make a double batch of sauce for hubby and I because we like our wings really drenched, but the single recipe should be enough to coat the chicken.)

Take chicken out of oven and place in a large bowl.  Pour sauce over wings, tossing to combine.  Serve immediately.

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