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The Blue & Gray Press | February 24, 2018

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Cooking corner: buffalo wings

By RACHEL OWEN

I have a confession: I’m addicted to buffalo sauce.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that almost anything can be improved with the addition of this unhealthy, spicy condiment.

If you’re fresh out of amaranth and looking for another delectable way to spice up virtually any dish, consider adding buffalo sauce. Your taste buds will thank you.

Like any beloved regional specialty, this recipe is not without controversy. True buffalo wings are fried without flour breading and Frank’s Hot Sauce is always used as the base for the wing sauce.

As a Southerner, it is my God-given right to deep-fry anything I want, but if you don’t want your apartment to smell like oil (or if you live in Eagle Landing and aren’t keen on setting off yet another fire alarm), these are also great baked.

I’ve also included a recipe for an Asian-inspired ginger-garlic sauce for those of you who want something a little different.

Ingredients for the wings:
4-5 lbs chicken wings
Salt and Pepper
Nonstick cooking spray or oil for frying

Directions:
Cut chicken into “flats” and “drumettes.” It’s possible to find them pre-cut, but if you can’t, this is a pretty easy step. Cut each wing at the joints, and discard just the tip of the wing.

Throw all your drumettes and flats into a gallon Ziploc bag.

Sprinkle them with salt and pepper then twist the bag shut, leaving a few inches of room so the contents of the bag can move around. Shake it until all the wings are evenly covered.

If you have decided to fry them, fill your pan with about 1-½ inches of oil and bring it to a medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, fry the wings in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Cook the wings for five to six minutes on each side (10-12 minutes total). They should be golden-brown when they come out.

If you would prefer to bake the wings, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Liberally cover a metal rack with nonstick cooking spray, then place the wings on the rack and spray them as well.

Place a cookie sheet under the rack and place both the rack and the cookie sheet in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes then turn wings over and bake for another 15-30 minutes.

Ingredients for the mild buffalo sauce:
2/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 stick butter
1-½ tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tabasco or Sriracha sauce
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic powder
Salt

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Pour over finished wings and toss until covered.

This sauce is fairly mild, so if you’d like something that packs a little more punch, you can up the amount of Tabasco or Sriracha sauce to taste.

Ingredients for the ginger-garlic sauce:
3 crushed cloves of garlic
2 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Pour over finished wings and toss until covered.

The final product is quite sweet, with a subtle heat from the red pepper flakes. If you would like to increase the spiciness, you can add more red pepper flakes.