Have you ever wondered about the exact history of buffalo wings? In today’s show, I interview Matt Reynolds. He directed, The Great Chicken Wing Hunt. You’re going to learn all about where buffalo wings began and also what makes a proper wing.
A Brief History of Buffalo Wings
The popular story states that a restaurant in the Buffalo area in 1964 received a shipment of chicken wings. They had no use for all of those wings. Rather than bothering the distributor, the owner fried some up and slathered them with a spicy sauce. The wing was born. For more in depth history listen to the show!
What Makes A Good Buffalo Wing?
Matt outlined several keys to a good wing. First, you must use fresh wings and not frozen. Second, a classic buffalo wing uses Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Do not use a generic hot sauce. Third, you can’t bread the wing before frying. A proper buffalo wing is fried without breading. Finally, use butter to adjust the overall heat.
When it comes to wings, you are going to find many variations. There seems to be an endless assortment of sauces and techniques. What I learned the most from doing this interview, is that a buffalo wing is something you can make your own. Feel free to experiment and create something truly tasty. Below is Matt’s recipe that he uses in the movie for one of his wing parties. Enjoy!
Matt’s Recipe For Buffalo Wings
This is the recipe shown in the movie. It looks fantastic. You should definitely try it the next time you want to host a wing party!
- 23 oz bottle of Frank’s Red Hot (don’t use generics)
- 1-2 sticks butter
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 4-8 hot peppers (habaneros, serrano, jalapeno, etc. — grab an assortment of what’s available at your local supermarket)
- 1/2-2 tablespoon honey-mustard
- 10-20 cloves of fresh garlic, pressed or chopped
- Celery salt
- Assorted hot sauces (Tabasco, Cholula, etc)
SAUTE garlic in one stick of butter for 1-2 minutes on low/medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Add HALF of the peppers, both bell and hot, finely chopped. Saute mixture 1-2 minutes. Pour in Frank’s.
Simmer and stir for 5-10 minutes, adding mustard and dashes of celery salt and assorted hot sauces to taste. If sauce tastes bitter (caused by some peppers) add honey-mustard (or just plain honey) until bitterness disappears.
Keep simmering. For a milder sauce, add more butter; for hotter sauce, add more peppers.
Let simmer for another 5-15 min, until sauce thickens and reduces by 5-10 pct; Adjust ingredients to taste.
FRYING is a world unto itself. Know your deep frier. ALWAYS use fresh wings (never frozen). Always naked (never breaded). Take wings out of refrigerator at least an hour before frying and let sit at room temperature. If using frozen wings, thaw completely before frying. 375 is a good temperature for more friers, but test yours because each frier is different. Frying should take 8-12 minutes. Aim to hit the sweet spot where the wings come out crispy on the outside but still tender and juicy (but not undercooked) on the inside.
Want To Learn More About The History of Buffalo Wings?
I’d highly recommend viewing, The Great Chicken Wing Hunt. This movie really is a great history about buffalo wings. It also adds some humor and drama to the adventure. You can find the movie on Amazon Prime movies for free if you have a prime account. The movie can also be rented online for $3-$4 with most rental services. Read more about the great chicken wing hunt here.
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