Most people are amazed to find out that Buffalo Wings are flavored with just butter and hot sauce. Yup, that’s it: simple and delicious. It’s tangy and spicy, over a base of fatty chicken-y goodness. Plus, who doesn’t love anything fried.

bitten wing

Alton Brown’s recipe adds a little garlic, but he stretches further by making his without frying them. This caught me eye right away because Lon and I could really use the calorie savings (apparently the holidays never ended for us) and because frying is just sort of a pain for people at home. It makes a mess, the kitchen will smell for days, and it’s hard to fry a large quantity for your Superbowl party.

Buffalo Wings

Alton’s method steams the wings first, blots them, chills them, and then bakes them. The blotting and chilling is key, extracting moisture from the skin. The one problem I had was that he chills them on a wire rack (which is optimal if you can) but my wire rack is too big for my fridge. I made this recipe twice, and the first time, I just chilled it in a tray, but they didn’t crisp up enough. The second time, I chilled them on a tray again, but I made sure to turn them half-way through to allow for drying on both side, and voilà! That little turn-over made a huge difference: crispy wings without being fried! You may even be able to fool a few people.

wings in two plates 3

Un-fried Buffalo Wings
~adapted from Alton Brown

  • 12 whole chicken wings
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (Lon’s preference is Frank’s Hot Sauce.)
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions -

1. Set up a steamer while cutting the tips off chicken wings (can be saved for stock making). Separate the wings at the joint.

2. Put all the wings in the steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes on medium flame. Remove the wings from the steamer and pat dry with paper towels.

steaming chicken wings

3. Lay on a plate or tray in a single layer and chill for 30 minutes. Turn them over and chill another 30 minutes.

4. While they are chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set up a wire rack with a sheet pan under to catch drippings. Cover the sheet pan with parchment paper.

wire rack set-up

5. Place wings on wire rack/sheet pan set and roast for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Turn them over and roast another 15 to 20 minutes (depends on size), or until golden brown.

6. Two minutes before the wings are done, melt the butter and mix in garlic, hot sauce, and salt. Place chicken wings in a large bowl. Toss and coat with sauce. Serve immediately.

pick up buffalo wing

posted by jessica at 02:48 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.