Thursday, May 15, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Wings (Page 54)

  • Date: Saturday, May 10, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Matty and Ricky
  • Dining Companions: Matt, Mike, Ana, Craig, Grace, Alex, Gunther, Angelica, Jenny, Vero, and Pam
  • Recipe Rating: B+

For the mayonnaise tasting last weekend, it was hard to find recipes in The Book for things that you could conceivably dip in mayonnaise and have it taste good. The sauce that comes with buffalo wings is often mayonnaise-based though, so I figured that these would be a reasonable thing to dip in the many mayos. These chicken wings were pretty good. All buffalo chicken wing recipes start the same way: deep-fry the chicken wings until cooked. The thing that distinguishes one buffalo chicken wing recipe from another is the sauce. In this case the sauce was pretty good. I thought it could have been a little spicier, and there could have been more of it. You can see in the picture above that the wings were indeed coated with sauce, but there wasn't delicious sauce dripping off of them. In and of itself that's ok, but since there was so little sauce, it could have had substantially more kick to it. This recipe also included a recipe for a blue cheese dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was fine -- nothing terribly special but also not bad. The chicken wings actually tasted better dipped in some of the mayonnaises at the tasting rather than their designated sauce. Overall, this is a solid recipe for chicken wings. I would certainly eat them again given the opportunity.

Here is the recipe.

When I was a kid, my understanding of food was based largely around what my parents ate. The things they ate seemed normal to me, and things we didn't have around the house or order in restaurants seemed exotic. My parents must not be buffalo wings people, because I am pretty sure I have never in my life seen either of them eat one. So as a little kid, I knew they existed, but hadn't ever actually seen a buffalo wing myself. When I was 11 I became a vegetarian... a phase of my life that lasted for the following decade. So certainly from age 11 to age 21 was a buffalo wing-free time for me. The upshot of all this is that I never ate a buffalo wing myself until I was in graduate school. This is all by way of justification for the following outrageous fact: for the longest time, I thought that the meat in buffalo wings came from buffalo. I know, it's embarrassing. I was aware that buffalo don't have wings, and as a kid this was definitely a point of confusion for me. What part of the buffalo were these buffalo wings from? By the time I had the realization that wings on buffalo made no sense I was too old to ask what was going on without it being a little embarrassing. By the time I got to college, I was pretty sure that the buffalo wing had something to do with a chicken. But then why was it called a buffalo wing? Mysterious. Turns out they are named after the city of Buffalo, where they originated. Aha! It makes a lot of sense, no? But as a little kid I probably didn't know of the existence of that fine city in New York, and by the time I did, the idea that the wings came from some big old buffalo in South Dakota was too ingrained in my mind for me to see the more plausible explanation. Basically what I am saying is this: I am an idiot. Buffalo wings come from chickens, who have wings, unlike buffalo. Case closed.

(No one ever believes me when I say that before culinary school I was COMPLETELY clueless about meat. Hopefully the above story will convince you.)


Kelly said...

Ok, being from Buffalo I will tell you one thing none of the recipies seem to tell you that makes all the difference when making wings. After you deep fry them and sauce them you want to put them in a cake pan and put them in a 350 degree oven for 2 or three minutes to bake the sauce in. Makes them taste so much better and they aren't as gross and messy. All the restaurants that serve wings in Buffalo do this as their final step.

Teena said...

What a good suggestion! I hadn't thought of that, but I do think that baking in the sauce a bit would have been an improvement. Now I know for next time!