Life changing chicken wings

I made some killer chicken wings the other day.  I tend to shy away from recipes where one must deep fry anything, as I don’t like going through that much oil, and they make the house stink, and I inevitably burn myself.  But I happened upon an article about the crispiest buffalo wings, and I have been craving them obsessively for weeks, and Craig (the supersmeller) was out of town, so I folded.  On my trip to the store for dog food ingredients, I grabbed a package of wings, and guiltily got to it when I made it home.  Most deep-fry capable oil isn’t so great for you.  In this case, I found a super old bottle of peanut oil in the back of the cupboard and used that.  A fairly affordable option would be to try sunflower seed oil (trader joes has quarts of it for like $5).  Apparently people in Buffalo commonly use Crisco.  That’s not my jam, plus Crisco is expensive.

homemade chicken wings

Anyway, let’s get down to what makes this recipe great.  Frying the wings twice.  This is far less fussy than you’d imagine.  The first fry, a lower temp, 250 degree ordeal cooks the wings and begins gelatinizing the collagen in the skin.  Letting them cool down after frying at 250 allows you to cook them at 400 later without overcooking the meat so much.  Frying at 400 dries and crisps the gelatinized skin, and also creates some incredibly crunchy bubbles in the skin, that get extra crunchy.

The ingredients:
chicken wings
high-heat oil
frank’s red hot
maybe some bleu cheese or ranch dressing?

So here’s the procedure:
*If you got preprepared wings, pat yourself on the back and sit back while the rest of us get our stuff together.
*If you didn’t buy preprepared wings, you’ll need to separate them at the joints.  This will give you a drumette, a flat, and a wing tip.  The wing tip doesn’t get used.  I stuck mine in the fridge for a batch of stock.
*Heat oil up to 250 in your pan of choice.  Either a cast iron skillet or dutch oven is probably best for this.
*When oil has reached 250-275, start adding your wings.  Chances are, you’ll need to adjust your burner to generate enough heat to hold the oil at that temp.
*Add wings until you can’t fit any more.
*Cook at 250 for 20 minutes.  Alternately, you can get them up to temp on the stove, then stick the whole shebang into a 250-275 degree oven.
*Remove wings from oil and allow to cool.  I stuck mine on a cooling rack over a sheet pan, this also helped drain extraneous oil off of them.
*Heat oil up to 400 degrees
*Add a few wings at a time and fry until browned and crispy, maybe a few minutes?  Remove to either a rack, or a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate.
*Prepare your sauce – Mix equal parts Frank’s Red Hot and butter.  Microwave.
*When your wings are done, throw a few in a big bowl with your sauce and shake/shimmy/stir to coat.
*Set aside on your plate
*prepare some sort of dipping sauce, if you so desire.
*nom like crazy.
*send a poorly lit and slightly blurry photo of your incredible dinner to your husband to incite jealousy.

The house stunk after this.  Like fried chicken, which is good I suppose.  Better than stinking like fried fish.  I do think that the chicken smell has dissipated, although I can’t be sure, considering I replaced it with the foul odor of dehydrated grassfed cow liver.  But that’s another post.

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