Super Bowl Sunday is an all-American tradition that calls for all-American foods, and there's no other dish that puts the kick in kick-off like the Buffalo wing. But not all wings are created equal, and as Arthur Bovino points out in his books Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in "The Nickel City" and The Buffalo New York Cookbook, what sets a Buffalo wing apart from the rest is a simple, two-ingredient sauce with a complex history.
But just as you might order a specific style of steak, Buffalonians order a specific style of Buffalo wing, according to Bovino. The culture of wings is nuanced by how they are prepared and flavored, and locals' preference of how saucy, crispy and spicy determine which bar or restaurant they choose to satisfy their Buffalo wing cravings.
This recipe for the Old School Buffalo Wing from Bovino's Buffalo New York Cookbook lays the groundwork for a classic wing. It gives you the basics on how to fry up the wing, the steps to making a blue cheese dressing, and the essential ingredients needed to create the world-renowned Buffalo wing sauce. It's the three-corner foundation to an excellent Buffalo wing. From here, you can experiment and fine-tune your wing's flavor with the specificity of a local Buffalonian.
*Recipe courtesy of Arthur Bovino
Old School Buffalo Wings from Arthur Bovino's Buffalo New York Cookbook — Photo courtesy of Arthur Bovino
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 48 minutes to 1 hour 4 minutes | Serves: 4 people | Yield: 24 wings
- 1 cup Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing (see below)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced into sticks
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks, or 24 baby carrots (6 per wing batch)
- 2 dozen chicken wings cut into flats and drumettes (about 2 pounds)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Enough peanut oil to submerge wings (8 to 10 cups)
- 2 cups Buffalo Wing Sauce (see below), warmed
- Prepare Blue Cheese Dressing, celery, and carrot sticks.
- If not already done, cut off wingtips, and cut wing and drumstick at the joint. Dry wings thoroughly. Season wings with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil until it reaches 350° to 355°F. As the oil warms, prepare Buffalo Wing Sauce.
- In batches of six, cook wings 16 minutes, gently lowering them into the oil and jostling the basket occasionally (or poking with a dry wooden spoon). Check the wings at the 12-minute mark. When wings are golden brown, drain, remove, and dry 1 minute on a tray lined with paper towels.
- Wait a moment for the oil to regain temperature. Toss the batch of fried wings into a large bowl, drizzle ½ cup sauce over them, and toss in the bowl until completely covered. Serve on a large, warm plate and pour some of the remaining sauce used to coat them in the bowl to cover. Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing, and celery and carrot sticks.
- Repeat process, frying, drying, and saucing until remaining batches are cooked.
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing (for Wings)
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup buttermilk dressing
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon onion, pressed
- 4 ounces soft Gorgonzola (or your favorite blue cheese), crumbled
- 2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Pinch of white pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl (or food processor), reserving half the blue cheese.
- Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Crumble in the remaining blue cheese in small nuggets. Stir well. Chill for 1 hour if possible.
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Prep Time: 3 minutes | Cooking Time: 3 minutes | Yield: Slightly less than 1 cup
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar (optional)
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Don't brown it!
- Add hot sauce and optional vinegar. Whisk until well combined.
Where did the Buffalo wing actually come from?