One of the great joys in life for me is Buffalo chicken wings (also known as hot wings). I know it shouldn’t even be in that class of happiness, but I love them.
And then… when I started making Buffalo wings at home and developed my recipe, I discovered that no one else could make them to be as tasty and flavorful as I could with this incredibly easy recipe.
That’s my disclaimer for this recipe. Once you taste just how good these hot wings are, your favorite restaurant’s wings will never taste as good.
Of course, that doesn’t stop me from trying them at other restaurants when we go out to eat; after all I do love Buffalo Chicken Wings!
If you’re not a fan of bleu cheese dressing, you can always use ranch dressing to dip your hot wings. I always serve celery sticks or carrot sticks with my buffalo wings; they’re great to cut the heat and dip in the dressing!
Ingredients to make Buffalo Chicken Wings
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Buffalo Chicken Wings. In Chef Speak, this is called the Mise en Place, which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What other flavors can I incorporate int traditional hot wings?
You can use a dry rub, or you can add any number of ingredients to the sauce to customize it. Try garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or your favorite seasonings to make your own special sauce — you can even add a little brown sugar for some sweetness
What Kind of Wings Should I Use?
The first and most important ingredient for this dish is Chicken Wings. And if you have a choice, always choose fresh, not frozen, wings.
Did you ever notice that sometimes the bones get black inside? That’s a sign that the wings have been frozen. In chef speak we call that “Black Bone”.
What Part of the Wing Should I use for Hot Wings?
When you look at the wing, you’ll notice that there are three parts to the chicken wing.
The wingtip (also known as the flapper), the middle part is the wingette (aka the flap), and then the meatiest part is called the drumette (because it looks like a small version of the chicken leg).
I use the first two sections, saving the wingtip for soup. They are easily frozen (or re-frozen) and can help you make a very flavorful chicken soup. Just place them in a resealable bag and save them for the next time you make soup.
You can also leave the wingtip attached to the wingette to make it look more appetizing.
Place the wings on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife, carefully find the joints. Place the knife blade (closer to the handle than the tip) on the joint, then with the tip of the knife on the cutting board, chop down.
The section is a little thicker to cut through, but it’s pretty easy to do — just be careful.
The wingtip comes off pretty easily. You can leave this on if you like — it will enhance the overall look of the wing, but that’s about it.
Prepping the wings will take no time at all, and sometimes, you’ll find pre-cut chicken wings at the market you shop at without the wingtip.
Once the wings are prepped you can move on to making the buffalo sauce.
What is the Secret to Good Buffalo Chicken Wings?
The secret to the Best Buffalo Chicken Wings You’ll Ever Have is the sauce.
You can adjust the amounts in my recipe for your heat comfort level and feel free to add your own secret ingredients to make the buffalo sauce your very own.
Just follow my steps in the recipe to ensure your sauce doesn’t break and comes out rich and clingy.
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat
- Add the hot sauce and honey to the pan over medium heat (if you don’t like the sweetness, leave the honey out)
- Turn off the burner and mix the sauce together. It should be thick.
The Secret to the best buffalo sauce
The secret to getting the sauce just right is taking the melted butter and honey mixture off the stove before adding the hot sauce. When Buffalo Sauce gets too hot, it breaks and becomes oily.
Did you ever get an order of wings and the sauce in the bottom of the dish looks disgustingly greasy? That’s because the sauce got too hot.
Do I have to use butter in the sauce?
I prefer using butter, but you can use margarine or any variety of butter substitutes you like. I have even used coconut oil in my Buffalo sauce without any problems; it just doesn’t get quite as thick.
Just a word of warning, once you start making your own Buffalo chicken wings at home, most of the others you try when you dine out will pale in comparison. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Once the sauce is made it’s time to get the wings ready to fry. These are Jersey-Style Buffalo chicken wings, which means I flour my wings before frying them.
This would be sacrilege in Buffalo, but I prefer the crunchy surface and feel that it holds the sauce better. Naked or floured, the choice is yours.
After frying the wings in hot oil for a minimum of 6 minutes (or longer if needed), make sure to let them drain before saucing the wings. If not, the wings will be greasy.
**Oil should be 350-360 degrees F. to fry wings
The last step is tossing the wings in the buffalo sauce. I always use a large bowl so I can toss the wings, making sure they are completely coated. And I love getting that hit of hot sauce as it drifts up to my nose..sigh.
How do I Make Bleu Cheese Dressing?
If you’ve never made homemade blue cheese dressing before, you don’t know what you’re missing. And it’s the perfect accompaniment to these crispy baked wings.
While there are a lot of great brands in the market, homemade is so much better and pretty easy to make.
For my recipe, I use sour cream, mayonnaise and whole milk. You can easily substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, which adds a little tang to the dressing. Feel free to use low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat milk or buttermilk in the recipe. Just mix it up in a small bowl, and you’ll have the perfect creamy dressing to balance the wings’ classic spicy sauce.
How to make Baked Buffalo Wings
To make crispy, crunchy Buffalo chicken wings, the secret is baking powder. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me on this one.
- Toss the wings with one tablespoon of baking powder (not baking soda), sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Place the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 400-degree preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn the wings over and continue cooking for an additional 20-25 minutes until the wings are golden brown.
- Toss the baked buffalo chicken wings with the buttery hot sauce and serve with a creamy bleu cheese dip or ranch dressing.
Can I make Buffalo chicken wings in an Air Fryer?
You sure can. Omit the flour from the recipe for this method and add a little oil to the wings, season liberally with sea salt and black pepper and toss to coat the wings with the oil and wing seasonings. *You can use pan spray instead of oil if you like.
- Place the seasoned wings in a single layer into the air fryer basket (don’t stack them them – this is the key to crispy wings).
- Turn the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit and let them cook for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, turn the wings over and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
- To get that crispy, crunchy exterior to the wings, increase the temperature to 400°F and cook the wings for five more minutes.
- Toss the wings in the spicy Buffalo sauce and enjoy!
**If you’re making these in batches, keep each batch of wings warm on a sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet in an oven set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
What can I serve with Buffalo chicken wings?
You can serve these crispy Buffalo chicken wings in so many ways. They can be the main dish for game day during football season or movie night, or you can serve them alongside other appetizers like homemade french fries, mozzarella sticks, or your other favorite starters.
The name comes from the location of the creator of this American classic. Credit goes to a small family-owned restaurant called Anchor Bar located in Buffalo, New York where they first created this dish in 1964.
Basically, they are the same. Preparation may differ and anyone from Buffalo will dispute the fact that anyone from any other location is actually making Buffalo wings. Hence the term “Hot Wings”
Toss those wings in the sauce after they’ve been baked, fried or air fried. It preserves the flavor of the sauce and ensures they have all of the saucy goodness when you dive into a plate of them.
The butter adds creaminess and provides just the right consistency for the sauce to stick to the wings.
Tools I use to make my Buffalo Wings:
- Stainless Steel Bowls to toss wings in sauce
- Wire Whisk to mix the sauce
- 12- inch Tongs to use while frying wings