The General Point.

My name is Emily Wood. I live in San Francisco.
"It’s possible and necessary to be interested in everything." - Adrienne Rich
These are my own opinions and not those of my company.

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Feb 05
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Baked Buffalo Wings

Should I take pictures of my food? Should I absolutely avoid taking pictures of my food? I can’t decide; I’ve let laziness and accident dictate this decision. 

Anyway, I’ve been cooking a lot more lately since we started getting a CSA box after Thanksgiving. So far, I’ve made no record of most of this cooking since it’s not so fancy (and there are no photos), but it occurs to me that if I ever want to make a recipe again, I can’t quite count on my Chrome history to find them again, as I have been (see: laziness and Chrome Sync). So I may start dumping them here. Maybe (see: laziness and past blog history). 

That said, this particular recipe is not even remotely related to our CSA box, because it includes no vegetables and tons of butter. OK, not literally tons, but cups. Cups I tell you! (If you triple it.)

The motivation for this recipe actually begins at the Super Bowl two years ago, when my friend Elizabeth made hot wings. (It’s funny how the bad-for-you food you can buy at a Chili’s or a Domino’s or whatever sometimes seems like it must be “hard” to make; to be fair I suppose this food usually involves a deep fat fryer, and I don’t have one of those, but nevertheless…) I was totally blown away when E informed me that all you need to make buffalo wings is… hot sauce and butter.

…Holy shit. 

So when it turned out the Niners were in the Super Bowl and therefore we were going to have a party, I obviously needed to make wings.

Since, again, I am lazy (or just a bad planner), a lot of the recipes I make are at least partially inspired by things I find on AllRecipes, About.com (what really is about.com, anyway? It seems like it should have been put away in an Internet closet years ago, and I can’t quite understand how it has not only survived but become something I end up landing on and using at least once a week), Epicurious or Simply Recipes. I won’t be crazy and call these recipes “platonic ideals” or anything but they do seem to be these extremely modifiable, basic recipes which you can do whatever you want with and they’ll still come out at the very least “not bad.” Also, the key to using random recipes you find on the Internet is most definitely the comments. The wings recipe has five stars but almost every review describes a modification; I’ve saved at least one coleslaw and one chutney from becoming a puckery mess by reading comments about how the recipe calls for twice the vinegar necessary. 

In this case, all I did was listen to the wise people of the Internet and bake the wings pre-sauce, in only their flour coatings (after one hour of fridge time), for about 30 minutes and then dunk in sauce and bake again for 15.

The other lessons learned:

  • I should have done a slightly better job greasing the foil with spray—a couple wings baked themselves onto it because I’d just let the polka dots of spray stay where they lay instead of spreading it around with a paper towel or something. 
  • Crystal hot sauce, while a New Orleans classic, may be too vinegar-based to work well as a wing sauce? It didn’t seem to stick too well to the wings post-dunk, though it had a nice, relatively subtle spice and…
  • I made extra sauce and spooned it on the finished wings before putting them out for people to eat. At the end, this meant there were semi-congealed ridges of spicy butter sauce on the platter, but I think it was worth that grossness. (Re my previous bullet point, I think the sauce solidified up a bit over time too, which I was happy about, even though it might not be technically awesome.)

Here is the recipe (modified from All Recipes):

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 20 chicken wings (per my calculations, this is about 3-3.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce 

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Mix together the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the wings and massage ‘em around for a while until they’re well coated with the flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. After the wings have dried out in the fridge, bake them for 30-35 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: melt the butter, add the hot sauce, and whisk together.

4. Once the wings have baked for half an hour or so, dip the wings into the sauce using tongs, and place back on the baking sheet (flip them over so the other side can cook). Continue to bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 15 minutes more. 

5. If you want extra sauce (this may depend on the kind of hot sauce you bought and how well it’s sticking to your wings), then make maybe 1/4 as much as you made before, and spoon over the finished wings. Don’t forget the blue cheese dressing and celery of course. Celery burns calories when you eat it, remember?

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