A passion for food + fashion

Best Buffalo Hot Wings. Period.

In Food, Recipes on March 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

My mother grew up in Buffalo, a town that is serious about wings and hockey. So yesterday’s nail-biting Canada vs USA seemed the perfect occasion for hot wings, but since I’m 2,000+ miles away from Duff’s I had to make my own using what turned out the be the most INSANE wing recipe EVER. I haven’t had wings this freaking delicious since my last visit to Buffalo six years ago for my grandmother’s funeral. It was April and snowing and my mom, cousins, aunts and uncles all headed to Duff’s for beef on weck and wings. The week prior I’d heard from Bon Appétit about an opportunity for a senior editorial position—a dream job, but I was married to another dream job at the Los Angeles Times Magazine. On the plane ride home from Buffalo to LAX I leafed through the April 2004 issue of Bon Appétit and landed on the back page, an interview with Buffalo’s own Wolf Blitzer talking about his favorite hometown eats (Bocce’s – best pizza on the planet, Anderson’s for frozen custard). I took it as a sign. Bon Appétit!

Bruce’s BEST EVER Hot Wings

I adapted this recipe from my friend Trisha’s incredibly gifted husband, Bruce. I also reached out to my Aunt Holly in Buffalo and my mom for added input, and everyone agrees that Duff’s wings are what we aspire to—super hot and super saucy. My proportions reflect this sauce to wing ratio, but the method is all Bruce and it’s a winner. I’m serious – these are going to be better than your wildest dreams. His secret? He says…

It’s always a recipe that I ‘wing’ and stick to no script. I think the secret to great wings is the same quality that makes good french fries a cut above, you have to ‘twice bake/fry’ to get the crisp texture. When you fry/toss in hot sauce/bake/toss in hot sauce/serve, this also adheres the sauce to the wing.  It adds up to a lip smacking experience that my Buffalo friends would be proud to gnaw. I always use Frank’s Louisianna hot sauce, I mean c’mon. Add tabasco according to the present company and always have copious amounts of celery and blue cheese dip on hand to finish them off. Never had a complaint.

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco, to taste (more is more!)

Salt, to taste

12 ounce bottle Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce (make sure it’s Frank’s Original and not Frank’s Wing Sauce which has a bunch of additives and is not as good)

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil for frying

3 lbs chicken wings

Celery sticks

Make blue cheese dressing (recipe follows) and chill while cooking wings.

To make sauce, mix first seven ingredients together in a large bowl, and then divide between two bowls. Set aside.

In a stock pot, heat 2 inches vegetable oil until it reaches 380 degrees. Cut off chicken wing tips, and halve chicken wings at joint. Using a large spider, carefully lower half the chicken wings into the oil and fry for 3 minutes. Remove with spider and toss in one bowl of sauce.

Remove from sauce and place on rack of broiler pan. Allow oil to return to 380 degrees. Repeat with second half of wings. Place pan 4-5 inches from broiler and cook for 5 minutes, turn wings over and broil another five minutes until crispy and golden.

Remove from oven and submerge wings in second bowl of sauce. Remove from sauce w/ spider and serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.

The Foodinista’s Blue Cheese Dip

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (the stronger and stinkier, the better)

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients together and chill well before serving.

  1. And congrats to Canada! Ryan Miller too – he was amazing.

    Wolf Blitzer, Tim Russert, from Buffalo and YOUR MOM? Interesting…

  2. We have been on a homemade wings kick for a couple months. I am so excited to try this recipe. Do you think it could be done well with baked wings? If so, how?

    • I don’t think they would be the same if they were baked. What’s great about this recipe is that they’re quickly deep fried (in canola) and dipped in sauce, then they are broiled and dipped in sauce. The double fry/broil method helps the sauce adhere better. I swear – it’s worth it. And I think the time under the broiler cooks off some of that fat. I’m telling you – they were PERFECT! Why not try half the batch baked and the other half with Bruce’s method? I know it’s a lot of work – but if you’re dedicated to wings you owe it to yourself!!! I could go on and on and on about these wings. I wouldn’t change a thing! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  3. Not bad…

    My fav sauce with wings is this hot chicken wing sauce

  4. Any suggestions on substitutions for the butter? It would just be waaaay to rich for me…thanks!

  5. Are you kidding? This is nothing close to what we eat here in Buffalo. This looks terrible. BAKING WINGS IS A SIN.

  6. Hey Boush. We’ll have to agree to disagree. Also – these aren’t baked. They’re fried (and then briefly broiled). I’ve had my fair share of Buffalo wings—my mom is a native and family is still there. Try the recipe and get back to me. You’ll be surprised! Thanks for reading!

    • Greetings,

      Is this actually the Duffs recipe or just an attempt to try to duplicate it? I love Duffs and I have spent forever trying to make it at home. I can never get it tangy enough – no matter how much vinegar I put in. The Anchor Bar And Duffs are very different in this regard – Duffs uses way more vinegar and it cleans out my sinuses. Although I see you have white wine vinegar as opposed to just basic white vinegar. Is this the difference?



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