This is my buddy Kevin, aka Bloodhounded. Not only is he a geocacher, but he is also a part time chef. Last week he posted his recipe for his Buffalo Chicken Wings over on his blog CacheCrazy. I decided to make them the other night and they were delicious! Let's just say that this is my new way to make chicken wings from now on.
12 geocaches in a series? 12 stages to the cache? One dozen of the best geocaches ever? Sorry guys, not today. Todays DIY will show you how to make that perfect dozen of Buffalo Chicken Wings and unless you’re caching in Buffalo NY and you stop at the Anchor Bar, you’ll find none better. So be ready to get hungry as I walk you through the very simple steps of "Bloodhoundeds Honey Garlic Wings".
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when chicken wings were relegated as scraps worthy only of the stock or soup pot. Nowadays, hot Buffalo wings are all the rage as appetizers and party fare.They come in all flavors and many different methods of cooking from baked to barbequed but nothing says, “Wings” like the good old fryer method. Oh sure, you’re not going to be reducing calories or cutting out the fat here but common, live a little!
I make these wings a few times per year. They are highly requested for our annual Super Bowl party and my family goes nuts at just the mention of “Dads Wings”. Today I am going to share my secrets with you, but please, don’t tell anyone, ok?
The method I use insures a nice, crisp, fully cooked but juicy wing. There is absolutely nothing worse than biting into a wing and finding a bloody center! If this happens to you, immediately kick the cook in the crotch! No excuses for this! I learned that you can trim some prep time and get a fully cooked and juicy wing by par-boiling the wing first. A short dip in the bubbling pool of saltwater makes all the difference I assure you and it’s a little known secret amongst us foodies.
Here’s the setup:
Your goal is to make that perfect dozen so concentrate on 12 wings at a time. Even if you’re making 200 wings, they must be done 12 at a time with household cooking gear. Any less and you’re wasting time, any more and you are overloading the pot causing a quick temp drop and poor results. The magic number here is 12. In addition to the ingredients, have the following equipment setup and ready to roll. Once you start there is no time to be fiddling around with things.
- Have a large pot of boiling salt water going the whole time
- Heat a pot of canola oil to 375 or just below the smoke point
- Have a colander ready at the sink
- Have lots of paper towels handy to catch excess oil and to clean as you go (you want to eat wings too right? Clean as you go)
- Have a large baking dish, large container to hold the raw wings and one to hold the cooked wings
- A long pair of tongs
- A good non slip cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife
The wing cooking method:
First you’ll want to work through all of the wings and cut them up. Take the wing tip off and then cut between the drummy and the flat section of the wing. Once you are finished cutting them all, clean everything up with a antibacterial cleaner and wash your hands. The next time you touch a wing with your hand will be holding it up to your mouth!
Now, count out 12 wing sections and slowly place them in the boiling water with your tongs. Keep an eye on the clock because you won’t want to boil them any longer than 8 minutes. Remove them for the water with your tongs and let them drain in the colander. Now place 12 more wings in the boiling water and repeat these steps moving the wings in the colander to container. They should be fairly dry by now from being exposed to the air.
Once you get a few dozen ahead with the boiling you can start to drop the first 12 wings into the fry oil. Be careful as this is the time when most cooks get burned, when playing with hot oil. Nasty stuff so be careful. Your 12 wings will be done in 6 minutes or average 8 minutes for crispier depending how you like them. Have a few layers of paper towels ready and place your wings from the oil onto the paper towels. If you are making a lot of wings you may want to put them on a baking dish in a warm oven to hold them until serve.
That is really all there is to cooking nice juicy, fully cooked wings.
The sauce, OH, THE SAUCE:
Start by melting one half pound of butter in a sauce large sauce pan. Do not use margarine or try to cut calories here by using less. If you’re looking for a low fat meal, try this link instead. Once the butter is melted and bubbling add two medium size bottles of Frank’s hot sauce. Bring to a gentle boil and add your granulated garlic and your honey. Again, slowing bring to a boil. Taste your work now. You may like it a little sweeter or maybe a pinch more garlic. Get the flavors working at this stage. Now add your two teaspoons of vinegar and you’ll know if it’s enough if you take a whiff of your sauce and it takes your breath away or tastes good or both! I like cornstarch as a thickening agent because it clarifies and holds on to the wings better and they look shinier. Start with two tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with ½ cup of water and only add half. Bring to boil and add more as needed. It will only thicken at the boiling point and it should be the viscosity of homemade gravy, nice and thick.
Let's heat things up!
How hot is too hot? That is a matter of taste and opinion. If Big Al were eating these he would be basically setting the sauce on fire! My 10 year old daughter, not so much and me, I’m somewhere in the middle. Red Cayenne Pepper is no joke. It can make your sauce hot fast! I would separate my sauce at this point and then add the spices to only one. The sauce by itself is good for most. Start with a pinch of red and a pinch of white. Stir it up real good and taste it. Then add as needed but remember, too much heat will ruin the flavor for most. I place a shaker of red pepper flakes at the table so if someone wants to add heat they can and with flavor and good eye appeal.
Have two “shaker” containers available too, one for hot and one for mild. Place 12 wings into the container, add some sauce, place the lid on tight and shake her up to coat the wings fully. Serve with a quality blue cheese dressing like Margarita's Chunky Blue Cheese and slice up some celery. Supply a lot of napkins and an abundance of your beverage of choice.
You too can build your own chicken wing legacy just like me, 12 wings at a time…..The perfect dozen, enjoy!
When I made these, we made pasta on the side and then just mixed the pasta, the sauce and the wings all together. Talk about GOOD!! Thanks Kevin!