Buffalo Wings Recipe

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Introduction: Buffalo Wings Recipe

About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building o...

This authentic buffalo wing recipe will produce addictive, crispy and delicious spicy chicken wings every time.  More importantly, it's a straight forward and authentic at-home recreation of the buffalo chicken wing recipe that will taste just like the wings from your favorite wing spot in Buffalo, NY.  There are many recipes floating around online that claim to taste like real hot wings from New York, but take it from a real New Yorker, these ones actually do.

This recipe uses the steam and bake method, which, if you have the time, results in a higher quality wing.  Bars and restaurants are in a rush to get you your order, and so they fry the wing to speed up the process...but don't be fooled, steaming and baking produces one extremely high quality at-home wing.

Step 1: Ingredients

Wings
  • 1/2 as many whole chicken wings as you'd like to serve
  • Salt and pepper
Buffalo Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Franks Red Hot Original hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Dipping Supplies
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 pieces of celery
Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Step 2: Steamer

The first step is to get a large steamer going.  Fill the bottom pot with a few inches of water, insert the steamer basket, cover and place on the stove over high heat to start it going.

Step 3: Break Down the Whole Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are made of three parts.  Moving from the tip, which I think everyone can identify inward, there's the wingtip, then the wing or wingette itself, and then the drumette. 

The chicken wings we're accustomed to eating are made up of the two inner pieces that I just mentioned - the wingette, and the drumette.  See the secondary images below for explanation and close-ups.

Break the whole chicken wings down into their three component pieces.  Use a sharp knife to cut between the joints that separate each section.  Ideally the knife will find its way between the two pieces of each joint cutting the wings apart so that they look like a ball and socket.  For some awesome instructions, check out the awesome How to Separate Chicken Wings Instructable.

Throw away the wingtips or use them to make a chicken stock.

Step 4: Steam the Chicken Wings

Place the chicken wings into the steamer basket.  Try to keep them from touching each other - yes, this unfortunately means that it will take several rounds of steaming to get all your wings cooked.  But, you can't rush excellence!

Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Dry the Wings

After 10 minutes, remove the wings from the steamer and let them cool on a cooling rack. 

When they are cool to the touch, dry each one individually in a clean cloth or paper towel.  There's good logic behind this step!  Getting rid of the exterior moisture on the skin means more crisping in the oven when you bake them. 

More crisping = better wings.

Step 6: Bake Until Crispy

Arrange the wings on a baking pan so that they're not touching (I'm using tinfoil for easier cleanup, but you can go directly on the pan if you like).

Lightly sprinkle the wings with salt and pepper.

Bake the wings in the middle of the oven at 425 F for 20 minutes on each side, or, until you see significant browning and crisping on the skin.

Step 7: Make the Buffalo Sauce

While the wings are baking it's time to make the sauce.

Buffalo Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Franks Red Hot Original hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter in a sauce pot on low heat.  Pour in the hot sauce and combine with the dry seasonings.  Heat for 5 minutes until the sauce is completely incorporated and evenly mixed. 

*Warning* if you keep cooking the sauce you will clarify the butter and all of the solids will settle to the bottom.  If this happens, you've cooked your sauce too long and you will have to start over.

Step 8: Cut Carrot and Celery Sticks

Now on to the signature carrot and celery sticks. 

Peel, quarter and divide a few large carrots.  Slice a couple celery stalks into similar sized pieces as the carrots.  Set them in the fridge until it's time to serve.

No, they're not just a token vegetables thrown into the mix to help serious wing eaters better meet the goals of the food pyramid...I like them because they serve as a palate cleanser between wings, can be useful to break the heat of really spicy hot wings, and are a vehicle for more blue cheese dressing when you've just got to have a few more drops of the stuff.

I don't know who thought of adding these wonderful dippers along side chicken wings, but it's pure genius and I wouldn't eat wings without 'em.  Thank you Mr. Buffalo!

Step 9: Make Blue Cheese Dressing

This blue cheese recipe is pretty run of the mill, but way tastier then what you'll find at the bar because you can actually use a quality blue cheese.  I'm using Maytag Blue Cheese which is a medium flavored blue cheese that's perfect for dressings and salads.

Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Combine all of the ingredients above in a large measuring cup and mix them together using a fork or whisk.  Don't beat the dressing, just try to break apart the chunks of blue cheese. 

Step 10: Coat Wings in Buffalo Sauce

Once the wings are done and crispy it's a straight race to the finish. 

Coat the wings in the buffalo sauce by tossing them in a large bowl.  It's ok to use a hefty amount of sauce in this step, since you can always coat another batch of wings in the sauce that's left over. 

Remove the wings from the large bowl and put them in a suitable serving dish.

Step 11: Serve and Enjoy

Serve the wings with blue cheese sauce, carrots, and celery. 

The general theory on eating hot wings is to dip a wing in blue cheese dressing and nibble, tear and suck all the meat off the bone.  Extra points if you eat the cartilage and clean the bone! 

Then, dip and munch a carrot, dip and munch a celery, and repeat 100's and 100's of times.

In case you haven't figured this one out by now, hot wings are especially good when eaten in mass quantity and paired with a cold beer.

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    44 Comments

    Wings cut wings deep fry 375 to 400 degrees 12 minutes. Coat in equal parts Frank's and butter. Steaming boiling them is a sin. Yikes

    Wings cut wings deep fry 375 to 400 degrees 12 minutes. Coat in equal parts Frank's and butter. Steaming boiling them is a sin. Yikes

    Love every thing in this but the tinfoil advice. My wings stuck to it. If they were just on the pan I could scrape them off. Shared this with some friends on facebook and they loved it as well.

    1 reply

    Replace the foil with parchment paper and there'll be no sticking at all.

    Beware because foil + chicken = fire!!!!! No need to be lazy. Just bake them on the pan. What purpose does the steam step serve?

    Don't USE TIN FOIL. I just finished making these wings. They stuck all over the tin foil, and I wasted a good bit of meat to it.

    I'm sure you like the way you cook them but real buffalo wings are deep fried and then dipped. I just can't get past the boiled chicken thought.

    Do they really taste like buffalos?

    A comment and a recommendation;

    1st, it is almost 4AM and I am now dying for some hot wings....

    2nd; I understand you were going for authentic BUFFALO wings, so not to take away from the authenticity I will make a suggestion for hot wings. Instead of steaming them prior to baking, throw em on a (charcoal) grill. That's what I do and that added smokiness with the hot sauce/buttery goodness is AMAZING. Just a suggestion.

    user

    Try this sauce: Decide how much sauce you want to make. Divide this amount by six (6). This is one (1) part. In the appropriate bowl, add: 1 part margarine 1 part honey 1 part barbecue sauce 3 parts Frank's Hot Sauce or equivalent Heat in microwave, mixing well. If you want milder wings, decrease the amount of hot sauce. This is the level of spicey that you find here in NYS, 30 milesfrom Buffalo! Originally, you were not supposed to dip the wings in the Bleu Cheese dressing, but it's a free country, so eat 'em any way you want.

    Thanks for the instructable noah, saw this method first from Alton Brown, but I like that you included that orgasmic blue cheese sauce recipe and celery/carrot sticks cause Alton doesn't seem to like those. Personally I can't imagine good wings without freshly made blue cheese sauce (ahemmm Hooters)

    1 reply

    Oh and I substituted greek yogurt for the sour cream and mayo, and a lime for the lemon, I think it compliments the blue cheese a little better

    since you add extra cayenne; franks red hot isn't hot enough for you i bet. i would suggest getting louisiana wing sauce. I make buffalo sauce for the restaurant i work at. it has more butter and Cajun seasoning instead of onion. i can chug franks red hot by the pint; it horrible weak; with Louisiana wing sauce i regretted my chug and required a gallon of milk.

    3 replies

    Hmm, I've always found Louisiana sauce to be fairly weak too. I agree that Frank's isn't spicy, though - it's more a "flavor" hot sauce than a "heat" sauce. It's been a long time since I tried making buffalo sauce - I never thought to try Cajun seasonings...and I put Cajun powders on everything...I shall have to try this soon!

    i currently growing cayenne pepper; they are still seedling; but i hope to be producing peppers within a year

    I've never tried growing hot peppers - weather where I live is a bit prohibitive, so all I've been able to grow successfully is horseradish. Hopefully your peppers will come out well! They should be a good addition to any hot or buffalo sauce.

    If you stay in an area where you cannot get hold of "Franks Red Hot Original hot sauce" what can be used as an alternative?

    1 reply

    Try every hot sauce in your grocery store! Franks has a great flavor that's perfect for original buffalo style sauces, but I'd think any hot sauce that is less spicy and more flavorful would work well. As someone else mentioned, Louisiana wing sauce is good, Baker's hot sauce is tasty, and if you can find it, Moore's brand hot sauces are delicious. If you don't want to make your own buffalo sauce, I can vouch for Moore's buffalo wing sauce - it's great.