Super Bowl Party Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings with Deep Fried Flavor

Buffalo Chicken WingsOne more great Super Bowl Party Recipe repost (actually this is a much  better version with updated recipe tips)…but first, the backstory. Back in 1976, I was working at The Foundry restaurant in DC and one of the waiters, Michael Murphy, who happened to be from Buffalo, told us of the amazingly simple way they prepared, of all things, chicken wings, up there at a place called the Anchor Bar. We started giving away the Buffalo Chicken Wings during Happy Hour and immediately the place became packed each day at around 4:45 pm with everyone waiting for the wings to come out of the kitchen…and the rest is culinary history. It seems that every bar today has chicken wings on the menu, and for good reason…when they’re made right, they’re incredibly and addictingly (if that’s even a word) good! They’re actually very simple to make…cut 12 wings into three pieces at the joints (discard the wing tips or keep them for preparing stock) and just deep fry the flats and drummettes for 10-12 minutes in 375 degree oil (preferably peanut) until they’re crispy and golden brown, toss them in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and serve with celery and bleu cheese dressing…that’s it…nothing else is needed. The problem is that it’s really a pain (and a greasy mess) to deep fry at home, but there is a not-so-secret way to avoid that mess, while still getting that great Buffalo Chicken Wing crunch and flavor……just bake them in the oven.

But there are REAL SECRETS to making incredibly delicious Oven Baked Buffalo Wings, and here they are :

1)  First steam the wing flats and drumettes in a steamer basket over boiling water for 10 minutes.
2)  Carefully pat them dry and then toss them with a mixture of:
+++ -1 tspn (5g) baking powder per pound of wings (this intensifies the crunch according to
+++ SeriousEats.com)
+++ -1 tspn (5g) kosher salt per pound of  wings
3)  Place them in a single layer on an oven proof rack on a sheet pan, and immediately put in the refrigerator, ++  uncovered, and air-dry for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to bake them, just slide the whole deal into a 450 degree oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden and crispy, turning the wings over halfway through. Most recipes then want you to add butter and garlic to the sauce, which is absolutely unnecessary (and not authentic!). When the wings are done, just toss them in a generous helping (about 1/4 cup per pound of wings) ) of warmed Frank’s Red Hot Sauce until completely coated, and serve with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks. There you have it…all the crispness, texture and flavor of deep frying with none of the mess.

PS…If you’re short on time or just don’t want to deal with steaming the wings first (Step 1), you can just skip it and start with Step 2…the wings will still be amazing…it’s the baking soda/salt and refrigeration that really helps crisp them up and takes them to the next level!

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