When I lived in Halifax, I absolutely loved going out to all the different pubs the city had to offer. Per capita, it has the most in all of Canada, and each of those pubs offered something a little different from the others. My wife’s all-time favourite was a place within stumbling distance from our apartment called Henry House. In the winters, the downstairs fireplace was crackling and the noisy atmosphere brought an extra warmth to the place. With no televisions in sight, the focus was always on conversation, connection. In the summers, their outdoor deck was set up, allowing you to call out to passing friends as you sipped your beer and inhaled their amazing nachos (complete with pineapple, of all things!).
It was such a cozy little pub, where they seemed to do just about everything right. Then, there was Oasis. Down a dimly lit set of stairs off of Spring Garden Road, which you seemed to always have to push past a group of sketchy-looking smokers to get to, it was the antithesis of Henry House. It consisted of two large, TV-filled rooms – one with terrible karaoke, and the other containing the pub’s entrance which, in the colder months, provided a blast of cold air each time a new patron entered or an old patron departed. Being a large pub, that stupid door was open a heck of a lot.
To be fair, I absolutely loved Oasis. It had the one important thing that Henry House didn’t; the one thing I always craved: cheap wings! On Wednesdays nights, you could very often find me sitting behind 2-3 baskets of absolutely delicious, massively saucy chicken wings – just going to town on them. With cheap beer ($10 pitchers) and ridiculously cheap wings (25¢ each before 6pm, 35¢ until 8pm, 45¢ thereafter), it was also a relatively inexpensive night out. With my wife often not caring to join me (which I can’t blame her for), it made the evening that much cheaper.
Where it was good for the wallet, it was bad for the waistline. Being back in B.C., it’s few and far between that I get a chance to tuck into a plate full of wings. When I do though, I have just the recipe for it. Slightly adapted from The Joy of Cooking, this buffalo chicken wing recipe is downright amazing! I’m including it as part of my 100 recipes of 2015 for two reasons. First, though I’ve made it previous to this year, I’ve played around with the amount of hot sauce in the recipe. Second, I’ve actually used the main aspects of this recipe -the breading and sauce – to create buffalo chicken sliders as well. I’ve never posted those before, so I’m including them in this post.
But enough talking – let’s get to the goods. Here’s the recipe for the wings:
Buffalo Chicken Wings
- 20 chicken wings
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp. salted butter
- 60 ml. (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
- 90 ml. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- In a medium-sized pot, add enough oil so that you have a layer approximately 1-inch thick. Place this pot over medium heat while working on prepping the wings.
- Using a sharp knife, separate each wing into tips, wingettes, and drummettes. Discard the wing tips, or save for stock, as you won’t be cooking these. You can also remove any excess skin/fat from the wings, if desired. You should now have 40 pieces of chicken to work with.
- Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and pepper), and coat each piece of chicken in this mixture. Set these pieces aside in a large bowl.
- Once the wings are all coated and the oil is hot enough (dip the corner of a wing in the oil – it should start to bubble immediately), add a single layer of wing pieces to the oil.
- Let the chicken cook for 10 minutes in the oil, rotating the pieces once or twice in that time.
- Remove chicken to a plate lined with paper towel to remove any excess oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, toss the cooked wings on it, and place in the oven. Set the oven to 300°F. This will simply keep the wings warm while you cook the rest.
- Add your second batch of wings to the oil (re-dipping them in the dry mix again if desired), and repeat this process of frying, removing excess oil, and tossing the wings in the warm oven until all wings are cooked.
- Be sure to monitor temperatures closely in this time. Adding/removing wings changes the oil temperature, so adjustments to the stovetop burner may be necessary. If the oven appears to be drying out your wings, or they aren’t keeping warm enough, adjust that temperature as well.
- Once you’re frying up your last batch of wings, get started on the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted and foamy (you will want to stir it a bit during this process). Remove from heat and add in the red wine vinegar and hot sauce. Whisk to combine.
- Once all wings are cooked and the sauce has been made, toss the wings in a large bowl with the sauce, so that all pieces are coated.
Makes 40 pieces
For buffalo chicken sliders:
- use chicken breasts instead of wings. Cut these into three pieces. First, cut the breasts in half lengthwise. Then, filet the thicker half to create three roughly equal-sized pieces.
- use the same ratios for the breading and sauce. Depending on how many sliders you make, you may have to half (or double/triple) the ingredients for one or both.
- frying the breasts should take slightly less time, and you only need about 3/4-inches of oil. Cut into a piece first to check for doneness, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- To finish off sliders, add the chicken to fresh baked buns and top with mayo, tomatoes, mozzarella, lettuce, and anything else your heart desires.